Faces of Kibera – Mara oversees the charity Faces of Kibera, which provides housing, food, and medical care for orphans in Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya where approximately 1 million people live in a single square mile. The charity’s goal is to build an orphanage in the region, for which 6 acres of land have been purchased. The charity auctions memorabilia from the Steelers and Giants, as well as training camp events on eBay to raise money.
Mara visited the area as a volunteer, at age 21, and was moved to help the orphans, many whose parents have died from AIDS and HIV-related illnesses. She began the charity due to her frustration with, according to Mara, the growing number of nonprofits that are just business opportunities. “The people who need help aren’t really getting it. So I started my own”, she told Interview magazine in 2009. Mara was not really working yet when she started the charity, so now finds it challenging to balance her charity work with her acting career. “I need to do both; I can’t just do acting,“ she stated to The Journal News.