Freida Pinto was so touched by a trip to Africa to meet some of the world’s poorest girls – she signed up as a charity ambassador.
The actress has joined forces with global NGO Plan International to champion the Because I am a Girl campaign.
Campaigners for the charity are pressing for international action on poverty-related obstacles and human rights abuses keeping millions of girls out of education.
“I’ve always been a true believer in the power of every individual, especially every girl,” says Ms Pinto, on her new role.
“I had the amazing opportunity to travel with Plan to Sierra Leone to see first-hand how investing in a girl transforms an entire community.”
The BIAAG campaign is set to be a centrepiece of the first ever ‘International Day of the Girl’ and aims to reach four million of the world’s poorest girls and young women.
Around the world 75 million school aged girls – more than the UK population – are reported to be missing from school.
Access to quality education for millions of the world’s poorest girls has been identified as a top priority for the campaign.
Child marriage, a cultural phenomenon that sees one in seven girls under 15 become child brides, is another massive challenge that Plan aims to tackle head-on.
“The treacherous web of barriers girls face worldwide is endless,” adds Ms. Pinto.
“But if we educate and empower girls, they will reach their fullest potential, pulling themselves and their families out of poverty.”
With the deadline for Millennium Development Goals approaching, Plan is ramping up its efforts to get the development needs of the world’s poorest girls on the agenda of international
Together with Ms Pinto the charity hopes to build up a groundswell of support that will lead to a direct and positive change to the lives of four million girls around the world.
“Girls and young women are often at the sharp end of many harrowing issues associated with global poverty and discrimination”, says Marie Staunton, Plan’s UK chief executive
“Whether they are victims of rape as a weapon of war or forced to offer sex in exchange for food for their survival.
“Child marriage, teen pregnancy, maternal mortality and limited access to education and family planning, are some of the grim issues that millions encounter.
“We are thrilled to have Freida Pinto as an ambassador of a campaign which aims to transform the lives of girls whose lives have been blighted as a result of their age and gender.
“We hope her support and our work
with local communities will enable millions more girls to move from impoverished existences to lives
with productive and progressive opportunities.”
Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign aims to highlight the plight and potential of the world’s poorest girls by securing them an education and support. It aims to create sustainable projects
in developing countries to give girls access to clean water, food, healthcare, education, and protection from violence and exploitation.
For more information visit: www.choicesforgirls.org or visit Facebook.com/becauseiamagirl