Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back–Nicole Kidman
“I find trying to solve problems and saving lives far more important than my film career.”
In 2002, Kidman first appeared on the Austrian rich list published in the Business Review Weekly with an estimated net worth of $122 million. After 9 years, her wealth was listed at $304 million, down from $329 million in 2010. Some of the secretly communist individuals may think, “wow, diamonds must really be her best friend” But not quite so. This Australian actress knows how to use her money. She supports a number of charities such as 21st century leaders, artists for peace and justice, breast cancer care, cinema for peace, FARA, global green plan, jeans for genes, red cross, kids wish network, musicians on call, UNIFEM, UNICEF, the McGrath foundation to name a few.
1. An ambassador and spokesperson of UNICEF
Since 1994, Nicole has been a UNICEF ambassador and spokesperson in Australia for the child welfare organization. She was first motivated to join this international organization when she witnessed the pictures of how the war had affected the children living in Rwanda. Ever since, she participated in several campaigns to raise public awareness about UNICEF’s programs. She donated $200,000 towards UNICEF Australia’s programs for children in the Australian outback and the Asia Pacific region, which was spent for kids in central Australia, East Timor, and Burma. Also, when she received some money as a gift from her friend, Paul Newman, she handed over the check to UNICEF Australia in person during her visit to Sidney over Christmas. “Deciding how to spend the money was incredibly difficult but I have chosen projects close to my heart and home—UNICEF projects that will help make a real difference in Australia and its neighboring countries,” said Nicole. Due to her active involvement, Nicole was honored as a “Citizen of the world” by the United Nations.
2. A goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM
After listening to a BBC radio report in 2005 about UNIFEM’s work in Cambodia to help rural women create economic alternatives, Nicole’s mother persuaded Nicole to work for UNIFEM, a branch of UN specializing in the welfare and rights of women and children. And in January 2006, she was announced as the new goodwill ambassador for UNIFEM. “She called me up and said, ‘you’ve got to hear this!” said Nicole. Soon after, Nicole was addressing international audiences at UN events, raising awareness through the media and testifying before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs to support the International Violence against Women Act. In 2006, she visited Kosovo to learn about women’s experiences of conflict and see UNIFEM’s effort. “I hope I can act as a conduit, that I can be the person who tells some of these stories,” said Nicole. Hoping this will be a lifelong commitment; she also visited Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan and Cambodia.
3. Breast Cancer Awareness
In 1984, when Nicole was only a teenager, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nicole had to temporarily halt her education and help provide for the family by working as a massage therapist. Fortunately, she survived and ever since, breast cancer has been a cause very close to Nicole’s heart. She recognized the importance of bringing awareness to the illness. At the London premiere of the Interpreter, she proudly showed off a pink breast cancer awareness wristband, which was given to her by a fan. In September 2006, she unveiled a giant pink ribbon on the Stardome at Madame Tussauds in London for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She sated, “I am honored to mark the beginning of Breast Cancer awareness Month and I hope that this cancer research UK campaign will raise awareness of breast cancer amongst women of all ages and encourage them to report any unusual changes and go for screening if they are over 50.”