Freida Pinto, star of Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), is Plan’s newest Because I am a Girl Global 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, health care, 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 Ms. Pinto. “The treacherous web of barriers girls face worldwide is endless. But if we educate and empower girls, they will reach their fullest potential, pulling themselves and their families out of poverty.”
Girls in developing countries face overwhelming odds from the moment they are born. They 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. Often denied access to education and health care, girls languish behind their male counterparts.
But Plan, in partnership with ambassadors like Freida Pinto, is working to change the lives of girls and their families around the world. By 2016, Because I am a Girl will reach:
- 4 million girls directly through girl-focused programs;
- 40 million girls and boys through gender equality education and transformative programs; and
- 400 million girls through working with country governments to ensure equal access to education, health care, 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 International to bring about real change for these for girls and their families,” says Ms. Pinto. “When you invest in a girl, you really can change the world.”