Actress Freida Pinto has joined the ranks of Plan International as the newest Because I am a Girl ambassador.
Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative that creates sustainable projects in developing countries to give girls access to clean water, food, healthcare, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
“I have always been a true believer in the power of every individual, especially every girl. Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to travel with Plan to Sierra Leone and see firsthand how investing in a girl transforms an entire community,” says the Slumdog Millionaire star.
Simply because of their gender, girls in developing parts of the world are more likely than boys to suffer from malnutrition, be subject to violence, be forced into early marriage, be trafficked, sold, or coerced into the sex trade, or become infected with HIV.
Upon her return from Sierra Leone, Pinto shared a blog post about her experience on the Plan International website. She highlights what she believes can be a working solution to the issues that women face in developing parts of the world.
“There is no overnight solution to these problems, but here’s what I think — educate and empower a girl and she will help build a stronger community. Ask them what their dreams are and they will, in their extremely polished, polite and upper-crust English, tell you that they want to be accountants, doctors, journalists, politicians — but only after they say that they dream of a place that is rid of gender inequality. Hence, they treat education like a luxury and I was amazed by their command over the English language and oratory skills.”
Plan has developed various initiatives and works with ambassadors like Pinto to offer support to girls around the world. By 2015, Plan will reach 4 million girls directly through programs and 40 million boys and girls through gender equality education. They will work with country governments to reach 400 million girls through proper access to education, healthcare and opportunity.
“I am truly inspired by the determination and courage of the girls I’ve met. I’m so excited to be working with Plan to bring about real change for these for girls and their families,” says Pinto. “When you invest in a girl, you really can change the world.”
You can follow Freida Pinto on Twitter (@BecauseImFreida) and visit becauseiamagirl.us to learn more.