Updated: 14/01/2012 00:41 | By pa.press.net

Gisele Bundchen takes energy action



Gisele Bundchen visited Kenya with the charity

Gisele Bundchen visited Kenya with the charity

Gisele Bundchen swapped the catwalk for a dirt track as she carried firewood on her head on a recent visit to Kenya to look at the country's energy needs.

The Brazilian helped local women near Kisumu, Kenya's third largest city, carry firewood several miles to their homes to learn first-hand how energy issues affect women and girls worldwide.

Each day around 800 million women and girls worldwide can spend up to seven hours searching for their families' fuel and carry loads of up to 90lb (equal to two full suitcases) many miles on their heads.

Gisele is in Kenya with UK charity Practical Action, which is providing fuel-efficient stoves that cook food more quickly and use less firewood.

The 31-year-old said: "It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Even though I'm from Brazil and we do have a lot of poverty, actually going to people's houses and experiencing (what they go through) is indescribable.

"It's heartbreaking and also heart-opening and there's so much I want to do now. I always want to try and put myself in their situation and think what would it be like if I had no access to basic needs of survival.

"By volunteering to come to a place like this, where you are vulnerable and exposed to so much that's different from the reality you live, it's amazing."

Her tour of Kenya coincided with the United Nations launching the Year of Sustainable Energy For All.

Other Practical Action projects visited by Gisele, a UNEP (UN Environment Programme) ambassador who also has her own charitable foundation, included a Pico-hydro power plant on the slopes of Mount Kenya, which has transformed the lives of the local communities' children, who now have light to study.

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