Meet Georgie

Georgie Badiel

Top fashion model turned water activist Georgie Badiel founded her water-focused Georgie Badiel Foundation in 2015. Before launching her foundation, Badiel was Miss Africa in 2004, and then became a top fashion model working for luxury brands like Marc Jacobs and Oscar de La Renta. Georgie has graced the cover of fashion’s bible, and Women’s Wear DailySince its launch, the Georgie Badiel foundation has made water accessible to over 100,000 people in Badiel’s home country of Burkina Faso by building 5 wells enabling local communities to have access to clean water.

Georgie Badiel
How long have you been leading the Georgie Badiel Foundation and how did you end up in that position? 
I am the founder and the CEO of the Georgie Badiel Foundation. 
I have been leading the Foundation since its creation on September 2015. 

What is one trait/skill that has personally helped you reach new levels in your career?
My passion and love for the people of my country has given me the determination to work hard to provide them with the most basic human right.  

Approximately what percent of your team is female? How does that impact the work you do? 
More than 50% of the people of my team are women. In Africa, bringing clean water to our families is the woman's concern. It is important for me to educate both women and men to make a real change. 

Georgie Badiel
No matter how far your career takes you, what is one thing about your life that you want to remain the same? 
The only one thing in my life that I want to remain the same is my family. They're very important to me.
What do you spend your time doing when you're not working?
I love to cook for my husband and listen to some gospel music. Spending quality time with him is everything to me. 

What is one disadvantage to pioneering your career vs. one benefit that inspires you? 
Being an African women. I have to work harder and harder.  Sometimes it’s exhausting and frustrating. But I believe the work I am doing is for God, he will take care of everything. 
Georgie Badiel
Georgie Badiel
Georgie Badiel
If tomorrow you woke up and had to change your career, what position/path would you choose?  
I would love to become a doctor specializing in everything. I always love to help people.

What impact have you made to date in our home country of Burkina Faso?
The Georgie Badiel Foundation has reached 100,000 people with clean water. I am grateful to God for this achievement and I am thankful to each of our donors.

How did you become inspired to become a water activist- what is your personal story?
As young girl, I used to walk for 3 hours every day to fetch water. After traveling the world, I went to visit my sister who was almost nine months pregnant. She still needed to awaken between 2 am and 4 am to get water. This is what inspired me to start making a difference to the critical need for water and sanitation.
Autumn Adeigbo and Georgie Badiel
What advice would you give your younger self or someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
I will say stay true to yourself. Work hard because only hard work pays. No matter how hard it is, continue and your reward will be bigger than you expect but always put God first.

Tell me more about The Water Princess and how you co-authoring that book came about. Did it have a positive impact on your foundation?
I came up to share my childhood story a few years ago so I can make a real difference in our World. So many children across Burkina Faso and Africa need to be heard. I wanted to be their voice so my story is their story. The Water Princess created a great impact on the Georgie Badiel Foundation. Lots of schools have been supporting us. I would like to thank each of them for their love and support.

What is next for you- what do you plan to do with Georgie water?
Right now my biggest dream is to provide access to clean water to every person in my country, Burkina Faso. I created this social project Georgie Water that will give back to the cause. I am hoping that Georgie Water will be a big contribution to my dream.