Gisele Bundchen has launched a search to find a model from some of the poorest areas in her native Brazil.

The supermodel was in the South American country to promote Top CUFA (Central Unica das Favelas, or Central Union of Slums), which will focus on finding model talent from Brazil's most underprivileged areas.

The contest - which aims ''to boost slum dwellers' self-esteem'' - will narrow down applicants to one finalist from each of Brazil's 27 states, before crowning one girl the Top CUFA.

Gisele - who is reported to be pregnant with her second child - said at the launch: ''I feel privileged to be the sponsor of this project.''

She also revealed that she was turned down 42 times as she attempted to make it as a model, adding: ''I was finally taken on the 43rd try!''

The winner will receive a year's worth of Pantene hair products - a brand for which Gisele is spokesmodel in Brazil - a year-long modelling contract, and the crown that Gisele won at her first Rio Carnival.