May 22, 2013 1:00 pm

14 years ago while shopping at her local mall, Danielle Redman was approached by a model scout. From that day on her life changed completely, and not only was she able to finally splurge on a pair of Citizen of Humanity jeans (a big purchase for a young teen!), but also travel the world. From Sicily to Cape Town, Tulum to Istanbul, Redman is on the road more than she is in her New York City apartment (or riding her teal custom colored Vespa).

Glamorous? Yes. Cultured? Definitely. But despite her ongoing travel, Redman has only journeyed sans modeling commitment twice in 14 years; Once to San Francisco, another time to Dubai.

She decided it was time to totally engross herself in another culture, to give back and to truly see the country she is in, which is how Redman became involved with The Komera Project, a charity organization she will soon travel to Rwanda with.

Redman talks to Ford about travel, Rwanda, and why she chose to be involved with The Komera Project.


Why The Komera Project?

I love their vision and what they stand for. It started with a woman, Margaret Butler, who decided it was time to make a difference. She had been to Rwanda and noticed that after a certain age, girls no longer attended school as they couldn’t afford it.  Margaret wanted to give the girls an opportunity for higher education, which is how The Komera Project began.

I love that one woman had an idea to help strangers and made that happen. I want to help her. Education is the best gift anyone can receive.

This will be your first time in Rwanda. What are your expectations?

Colorful clothes, dirt roads, slow, if any, Internet, friendly people, green lush forest, and scooters everywhere.

When you travel for work, do you feel you really get to see and know the country you are in?

Rarely. I’ve been to Cape Town at least 10 times and the last time I was there I finally was able to hike Lions Head and make it to the top of Table Mountain. But, that’s only because I had a few days between modeling jobs. Normally when I am working, the call times are early and we shoot until the sun sets so there isn’t much time to explore.

So you really don’t get to see much?

What I see normally is where we are shooting, which is pretty cool. When I shot in Brazil, the location was at a Samba school with all the dancers all dressed up in their headdresses and completely sequined outfits. That is rare though.

What do you hope to receive from this trip?

I’m going to have fun, meet my scholar, see the schools, and really immerse myself in the culture. Being on the go nonstop can make you feel disconnected.  I’m working nonstop which I absolutely love but the focus is always on the job.  Working with The Komera Project has given me a chance to focus on other people. I’ve been working on raising money for the girls and it feels so good to help someone else out.

Any more info?

Besides meeting the girls and visiting the schools, we are doing a global run which will be on June 19th .  We encourage people from all over the world to run (or walk or participate in any activity such as yoga, biking, kickboxing, etc.) for The Komera Project on this day.

More info can be found here. Remember, any little bit helps! It all adds up and we appreciate any and all donations. As little as $30 can provide pens and notebooks to two girls for an entire year.


Interview and story by Ford’s Talia Fabrizio 


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