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 policymakers.
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.