From Fashion-Industry Titan to Ghana-Based Children's Rights Advocate: Lisa Lovatt-Smith and OAfrica
Born in Spain and raised by a struggling single mother, Lisa Lovatt-Smith became an editor at British Vogue at age nineteen, the youngest in that magazine's history. By her thirties, Lisa had achieved her dream career and an absolutely glamorous life in Paris. But then her adopted daughter Sabrina was expelled from school, and Lisa took her to volunteer at an orphanage in Ghana with the hope of getting Sabrina's life back on track. What mother and daughter discovered there changed both their lives. Lisa is our guest on ST today; her new memoir is entitled "Who Knows Tomorrow: A Memoir of Finding Family Among the Lost Children of Africa." Appalled by the deplorable conditions she found at that Ghanaian orphanage, Lisa decided to move to Ghana permanently...and thereafter dedicated her personal resources to reuniting hundreds of Ghanaian children with their families while also spearheading a drive to shut down corrupt orphanages. That drive continues to this day -- it's the purpose, in fact, of her organization known as OAfrica. This organization's mission, per its website, is to empower "children and young people in need of care and protection because of institutionalization, abandonment, discrimination, or abuse to become productive members of their communities."