6. Your Philanthropy

Tom Hiddleston’s Guinea field diary: Back in London

– Copied from UNICEF UK Blog: http://blogs.unicef.org.uk/ Great blog for varying types of news from social sector.
Tom-h-guinea-day6.jpg-550x550

So that’s it.

I’m back in London. I am back in my home. Back amid the hustle and the bustle. Back amid the humdrum and the mayhem and the madness. Back to running water and the warmth of central heating. Back to a bed without a mosquito net. Back to food in the fridge and food in the cupboard and food around the corner in the supermarket.

I’ve seen things I have never seen before.

When I started writing this blog, I talked of life in Guinea as a “jigsaw puzzle, one where the pieces keep moving or changing shape, which in turn alters the picture. You might be looking at it from a different angle, or at a different time of day”. On my first night, Julien had suggested an idea of reality in Guinea as “open to interpretation”. In so many respects, that is true of all life. The view always changes with the viewer. That’s the law of relativity.

Here’s what’s not open to interpretation. Every year in the world more than two million children die of hunger. It shouldn’t be like this. Children in Guinea start life at a severe disadvantage. Those that are malnourished may survive in the end. If they are caught in time. If their mothers respond to symptoms early enough; if they make it to the centre de santé, which is often miles away; if they respond to the therapeutic peanut paste, and special therapeutic feeding milk. If their parents are able to grow crops and feed them with enough nutritious foods so they can keep healthy. If they win the fight against malaria. If they live near a good school. If they can get work. If their parents can protect them from exploitation by the military. If they are lucky. Previously malnourished children can make it. It sounds paradoxical to say it, but they are the lucky ones.

Malnourished children grow up at a disadvantage. They will be physically smaller, possibly with diminished intellectual capacity. Their brains and bodies won’t develop in the same way. Of course, there is always a chance that through hard work, education, training, and strength of will any individual can and will progress to great achievement. But these children start so far behind. The race of life – the race for life – is infinitely longer and infinitely harder. Every day there are challenges to their survival and development. Context is important. I’ve been privileged enough to have seen that context at first hand. They live in the middle of nowhere. There is no water. There is poor sanitation. There is a shortage of food. There is lack of education. Conditions are inconceivably hard: they are incredible, until you have seen them with your own eyes, until you have lived in their midst, even for the shortest while.

Before my visit to Guinea, I knew that global hunger and malnutrition was a problem. But the issue was only academic in my mind. When you’ve seen malnourished children with your own eyes and their disadvantaged start in life, a moral imperative compels you to act and becomes impossible to ignore.

In the west, we take our simplest privileges for granted. Many have said this before me; and many will say it after me. It’s still true. In the very poorest regions of West Africa you can forget about a nice shower or warm bath at the end of a long day. About flushing the loo, or even having a loo to flush. You can forget about turning on a tap. About dashing round to the shop to buy newspapers, a bar of chocolate and some washing powder. In Guinea, people walk 15 miles to the river to wash their clothes. Washing your clothes takes all morning. You don’t just ‘put a wash on’.

I am no saviour. I’m absolutely the last person on the planet who can practically help. I don’t know how to make the different types of therapeutic feeding milk. I’m no chemist. I’m no doctor. I’m no engineer. I can’t manufacture polio vaccines or organise their transportation to the health centres in Saramoussayah or Bissikirima. I can’t build schools, or design drainage systems. I can’t provide the women and children of Mandiana with water.

I’m just an actor. Interestingly, there’s no such thing as an ‘actor’ in Guinea. It simply doesn’t register as an occupation. I heard tell of the ‘griot’: the term used in West Africa to describe the storyteller, the poet, the bard. But at the schools I visited when I asked children what they wanted to be when they grew up the answers were “teacher”, “minister of education”, “plumber”, “electrician”, “carpenter”, “teacher”, “teacher” and “teacher”. Many even said they wanted to work for UNICEF.

The people who are really helping are those on the ground. They are heroic, and mostly if not entirely unsung. Julien Harneis, the resident representative of UNICEF in Guinea and our guide, is a man of extraordinary learning, experience, energy, curiosity and kindness. It’s his job to divide UNICEF’s financial and medical resources and to make sure those plans and policies get real results in the field. It’s his job to coordinate with the Guinean government and local authorities so that advances in both the humanitarian and developmental imperatives of the country rise in parallel. He is helped by Felix Ackebo, his deputy, by women like Michele Akan Badarou, his communications specialist, by Dr Pierre Andou, his nutrition specialist. It’s people like Idrissa Souaré, Chief of the East, and Mariame Kanka Labe Diallo, the directrice professionelle de santé of Saramoussayah, who made such a lasting impression on me. I’ll never forget her face as long as I live. These are the people who are doing the work, day in, day out. This work is not morose or maudlin. It is joyful.

Then there is Pauline Llorca and Louise O’Shea, indefatigable, inspirational and ceaselessly kind, and their team at UNICEF UK in London, who work so tirelessly and with such passion to promote, develop, and implement UNICEF’s policies and programmes all over the world. It is to them that I owe an eternal debt of gratitude. It is they who allowed me the privilege of visiting Guinea. They made it possible.

What I learned in Guinea is that we are all responsible for the state of our world. The world – and the system by which we trade, share, cooperate and conflict – is clearly not working. We are only as strong as our weakest members. UNICEF is run at every level by strong, relentlessly energetic, deeply capable people who use that strength, energy and capability to help those who need it most: the weakest, most disadvantaged women and children of our world. All I can do now is help make people aware of what is happening, of what they are doing. That is all that I can do. For now.

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Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back to the World—Oprah Winfrey

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back to the World—Oprah Winfrey

“I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.”

She is an American proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. She is Oprah Winfrey—the self-made, one of the most powerful women in the world. Born under an unmarried teenage mother, living under rural poverty to wear dresses made of potato sacks, suffering years of abuse, and having to watch her son dying shortly after birth at the age of 14, Winfrey understands hardship like no other. Despite all the adversities that could have easily let down anyone, Oprah survived. And now, as a billionaire and the richest self-made woman in America, she is furthering he reputation for her devotion to philanthropy.

1. The Angel Network

“Inspire people and make a difference in the lives of others”

In 1994, The Oprah Show presented a girl named Nora and her project, Penny Harvest. She and other children were collecting pennies to help various organizations. Inspired by Nora’s little effort to collect up to $1,000, Oprah said, “If you could do that, I wonder what I could do?” Thus launched The Angel Network, a non-profit, volunteer served, public charity. It started with a small project to provide college scholarships for 150 deserving students. The same year, 1997,https://fuzeus.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php viewers of Oprah’s show gathered to help out Habitat for humanity to build 200 beautiful new homes. Pretty soon, this charity was present in any place that needed help. You can find out more about The Angel Network’s work on History of Angel Network

2. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation

“My young friends, doors are opening for you—doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and fathers—and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.” 

The Oprah Winfrey Foundation does not accept donation from anyone. This is run exclusively by Oprah Winfrey and her endowment and its current asset amounts to a total of $172 million. It was first established to fund Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which is a girls-only boarding school that officially opened in January 2007 in  south of Johannesburg, South Africa. The mission of this academy is to provide a nurturing educational environment for academically gifted girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In October 2007, a female school staffer was accused of physically and sexually abusing students. As soon as she heard the news, Winfrey flew to South Africa to meet with school officials and parents. Fortunately, the mess was handled well under a thorough investigation and Winfrey reportedly provided each girl with a cell phone programmed with Winfrey’s personal phone number. In the statement she said, “It is my deepest hope that the accused is brought to justice and that this serves as a reminder that any time a child has the courage to step forward, it is our duty as adults to listen and take immediate action.” To her immediate and effective remedies to the incident, Merlenes Davis of the Lexington-Herald Leader sent her praise.

But I so admire how Winfrey handled the mess after she heard about it. She pulled no punches, revealed all the ugliness and promised the parents of those girls to do a much better job. The good coming out of this, however, is that those girls, who all have come from extreme poverty, have some idea of what a powerful woman looks like and what she stands for. So do those who no longer work at the academy.

3. Oprah and Bill Clinton

Nearly thirteen years after leaving the White House, former president Bill Clinton is still working to change the lives of people around the world with his foundation, which supports causes such as treating HIV and AIDS. Winfrey is also a big supporter of the Clinton Foundation, which is also supported by Elton John, Donald Trump, Barbra Streisand and Anne Hathaway.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed, “Oprah Bill,” also known as the National Child Protection Act. Oprah’s Bill creates a national registry of convicted child abusers, which relates to Oprah’s personal history of having been abused as a child. At the signing of the National Child Protection Act, President Clinton invited Oprah Winfrey to speak.

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back—Bill Gates

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back—Bill Gates

 

“If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions,they will be moved to act”

At Davos—an annual meeting in Switzerland for World Economic Forum—Bill Gates showed up with tubers of cassava. “I don’t know what Swiss customs will say about it,” said Mr. Gates, “I’ll put it in a nice plastic bag or something.” To the meeting where top class people were expecting some caviar with wine, Bill Gates presented cassava and pitched his charity work. Ever since 1994, when he first established Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and even after he had left Microsoft, Gates continued his work in philanthropy. According to Infographic, Bill Gates has given $28 billion to various charities since 2007, which accounts for almost 48% of his net-worth. Say what you will about Bill Gates, but you cannot deny that he has made some impressive, if not phenomenal, impact on our society with his charity works.

1. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Number of employees: approximately 980
  • Asset trust endowment: $33.5 billion
  • Grant making areas: Global Development Program, Global Health Program, United States Program
  • Locations – Seattle, Washington / Washington, D.C / Delhi, India / Beijing, China / London, United Kingdom

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. Its primary aims are to improve people’s health and give them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people–especailly those with the fewest resources–have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. “We want to give it back to society in theway that it will have the most positive impact,” said Mr. Gates. In building a foundation, he studied the philanthropy work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. In fact, he consulted Rockefeller several times to model their giving. In 1994, he sold some of his Microsoft stock to create William H. Gates Foundation, which in 2000 was combined with other family foundations into one–Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

2. Bill Gates and his wealthy companion

In 2006, Warren Buffett–the most successful investor of the 20th century–announced he would donate 85% of his $44 billion fortune to charity, naming the Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation as the main recipients. He had previously announced to make such a donation in his will, famously saying that he wanted to leave his children enough money so they could do something, but not so much that they could do nothing, and inviting comparisons to Andrew Carnegie, who liked to say that “the man who dies rich dies disgraced.” He also added that watching Bill and Melinda Gates donate so much of their wealth during their lifetimes inspired him to kickstart the process of distributing his own wealth. “I urge people to unbotton their wallet, pull out a check, reach into their purse, whatever it takes,” Buffett, 91, said last year in a YouTube video. “You will find that when you give a dollar and something of yourself, a lot more than a dollar comes out the other end.”

3. Global Health & Development Program

The Gates Foundation has been a major influence upon global health, donating over $800 million to the annual budget of the United Nations World Health Organization and United States Agency for International Development. Currently, president of the Global Health Program is Trevor Mundel and for the Global Development Program, Chris Elias is in charge. These programs focus on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach hundreds of millions of people. Their major works include supporting agricultural development, providing financial services for the poor, reducing the burden of water-borne diseases and raising awareness of these issues. One of their current accomplishment is the rice research. Between 2007 and 2010, this foundation had offered 19.9 million to the International Rice Research Center. The aid was intended to support the increasing demand the world has placed on rice. The foundation  claimed, “To keep up with worldwide demand, the production of rice will have to increase by about 70 percent in the next two decades”

4. United States Program

Under the president Allan Golston, the United States Program has made grants for education within U.S. The foundation introduced a U.S. libraries the initiative with a goal of “ensuring that if you can get to a public library, you can reach the Internet.” Public libraries nationwide were provided with grants for installing computers and training technical support. Also, in a belief that more than one in five students should be able to read and grasp the content, Bill and Melinda Gates invested more than $250 million to create new small schools, which reduced student-to-teacher ratios and divided up large high schools through the schools-within-a-school model. The foundation also provides university scholars program in which about 10 members of each undergraduate class and one member in each class in each of the professional schools can get full scholarships.

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Nicole Kidman

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.”

Celebrities volunteering and giving back–Bono

Celebrities volunteering and giving back –Bono

In 2011, National Journal stated Bono as the public figure who had the most powerful impact in shaping the contemporary pattern of Hollywood activism. . Since 1979, when he first saw one of the Secret Policeman’s Ball benefit shows for the human-rights organization Amnesty International, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic.  As the frenetic front man for the global rock band U2, Bono has cut the mold for modern celebrity activism. With his endless list of charity works, it almost seems as if he has no limits when it comes to fighting poverty and hunger. This man is on a life-long quest to make the world a better place.

1. The most politically effective celebrity

Bono showed a persistent effort in building an extraordinary political alliance with both sides of the American politics. He maintained a close relationship with both the left-of-center figures such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates as well as the right-of-center figures such as George W. Bush and Jesse Helms, who Bono bonded with in discussion over scripture and persuaded to attend a U2 concert. “When Bono embraced Bush, that pissed a lot of people off because in the past there were a lot of celebrities who said, ‘I won’t even go to the White House,’ while George Bush was president, and he said that was ridiculous,” said Lara Bergthhold, whose job is to connect Hollywood celebrity with liberal causes. “But you would have to say Bono was right. Debt relief in Africa was such an obscure issue that no one card about, and it is now on the agenda. He made it a sexy issue, and he made a case for it in Republican chambers that was effective, a Christian argument.” Despite the criticism that he had to confront for the moment, Bono chose to care for the long-term problems and his shrewd political maneuvering led him to be the most effective celebrity in Washington.

“Anyone who could make Jesse Helms cry and then attend a U2 concert is an effective lobbyist,” said one Republican. “He literally put Africa on the map for the generation of Democrats and Republicans,” a Democrat Agreed. Bono not only raised the awareness regarding the issues in Africa but also set up a new kind of relationship between the celebrities and politicians.
2. It’s a beautiful day

Bono also used his musical talent with U2 to collect money for good causes. Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty’s Conspiracy of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 with Sting. He also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organized by Bob Geldof. Later, Geldof and Bono collaborated to organize the Live 8 project, a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 conference. More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio stations. U2 and Paul McCartney opened the London concert, playing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Later, Bono added a group of lines of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” to the end of “Beautiful Day”.

3. List of charities & foundations supported

  • 46664
  • ALAFA
  • Amnesty International
  • Charity Projects Entertainment Fund
  • Chernobyl Children’s Project International
  • DATA
  • EDUN
  • Food Bank For New York City
  • Global Fund
  • Greenpeace
  • Keep A Child Alive
  • Live 8
  • Make Poverty History
  • Mencap
  • Millennium Promise
  • Millennium Village
  • Mulago Positive Women’s Network
  • MusiCares
  • Not On Our Watch
  • ONE Campaign
  • Oxfam
  • (RED)
  • Red Cross
  • Simon Community
  • The Lunchbox Fund
  • UNICEF
  • UN Millennium Project
  • War Child
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Witness

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Madonna

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Madonna

“It has pretty much taken over my life, and I’m so grateful it has…I’ve started an organization called Raising Malawi…and any of your help would be greatly appreciated by me”

Considered to be one of the “25 most powerful women of the past century” by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing her image as well as her music. Because she is such an important public figure, some people would reduce Madonna’s philanthropic work merely as an ego trip. However, if you delve into her works more carefully, you’ll see that her attempts cannot be phony in any sense.

1. Warm Heart of Africa—Malawi

Malawi is a tiny landlocked nation situated between Zambia, Tanzanian and Mozambique in central sub-Saharan Africa. It is home to over 16 million people whose primary vocation is subsistence agriculture. After years of living under control of colonial rule, Malawi achieved independence from UK in 1964 and it now has a relatively stable government. However, Malawians sill confronts dire problems stemming from its poverty, disease and lack of critical resources. In 2006, Madonna and Michael Berg founded Raising Malawi, a non-profit organization supporting community-based organizations that provide vulnerable children and caregivers with nutritious food, proper clothing, secure shelter, formal education, and emotional care.

2. Academy for Malawian children

Madonna deemed education as a crucial factor in improving Malawi’s economy and a long term investment that can change Malawi’s future.  However, her plan to build schools for children didn’t go as smoothly as she imagined. The construction of the girls’ academy was delayed over a dispute between her charity and some 200 villagers who claimed they were not adequately compensated for land used to build the school. Madonna’s charity had to pay extra $500,000 in compensation. Again, in 2011, the plan almost collapsed after appending $3.8 million on a project. This was due to change in the board of directors. It’s executive director, Tracy Anderson, left in October amid criticism of his management style and cost overruns for school. “There’s a real education crisis in Malawi,” Madonna said, trying to save the project. However, she could not give a reason why she had not noticed the problems as they began unfolding. Thus she eventually abandoned her project to build Malawi Academy for Girls. However, Madonna persisted that “Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can”

Indeed, the fist Raising Malawi School was completed in Kabila on May 24, 2012. With the help of 1426 volunteer hours of work from the local community, the school will be up and running in Kabila with 142 students set to attend the school. Despite the quandary she confronted, Madonna completed a school for Malawian.

3. David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie and Chifundo Mery James.

On October 10, 2006, Madonna filed adoption papers for a boy from the orphanage, David Banda Mawale Ciccone Ritchie. This adoption raised strong public opinion because she did not obey the Malawian law, which requires would-be parents to reside in Malawi for a year before adopting. In order to calm public fury, Madonna addressed this on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Despite what public believed, there were no written adoption laws in Malawi that regulated foreign adoption. Also, Banda needed an immediate treatment for his health. He had been suffering from pneumonia after surviving malaria and tuberculosis when she first met him.

On June 12, 2009, Madonna adopted another child called Chifundo Mery James. Her second attempt to adopt a child from Malawia was also obstructed by the Malawia government’s interference. But the Malawi’s High Court eventually approved her petition to adopt 4-year-old Mercy, despite the fact that she hadn’t fulfilled the country’s 18-month residency requirement. “Madonna has shown that she is bold and compassionate enough to come forward to adopt Chifundo James,” said Lovemore Munlo, the Malawia Chief Justice.

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Selena Gomez

Celebrities Volunteering and Giving Back – Selena Gomez

Sorry girls, Justin Bieber can’t really be your boyfriend. He belongs to one of the sickly sweet juvenile teenage celebrities, Selena Gomez. But not only is she dating every girl’s fantasy, she is already gaining worldwide recognition for her role in the Emmy Award winning show, “Wizards of Waverly Place” on the Disney Channel and has starred in numerous films. Yes, Selena Gomez has it all. However, despite the glamorous life that she can enjoy with her fame, this young lady is devoting her time and energy as an active philanthropist.

1. Being Active

Gomez has been participating in many campaigns and charity events throughout her career. Let me first list few activities that she had participated in the early time of her career.

In October 2008, she participated in St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital’s “Runaway For Life” benefit. She has been the ambassador of DoSomthing.org—an organization that launches several national campaigns to make real impact for a social change—after her experience with the charity Island Dog a project to help dogs in Puerto Rico. She is also a spokesperson for State Farm insurance, helping it raise awareness of being a safe driver. To some celebrities, this list will sound impressive already. But to Gomez, this was only a start.

2. UNICEF’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador

In August 2009, a 17-year-old Gomez became the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever, passing her fellow songstress Hayley Westenra, who was 18 when she was chosen. Her relationship with UNICEF was first established when she was named UNICEF’s spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, which encouraged children to raise money on Halloween to help children around the world. UNICEF acknowledged Gomez’s passion for philanthropy and soon enough, Gomez was on her first official field mission to Ghana.

Fresh off the stage of her benefit concert for UNICEF, which raised $200,000, she was taking her efforts for the organization one step further. She traveled to Ghana on September 4, 2009 for a week to witness first-hand the stark conditions of vulnerable children that lack vital necessities including clean water, nourishment, education and healthcare. When she came back, she explained during an interview, “That is why I feel very honored to have a voice that kids listen to and take into consideration. I had people on my tour asking me where Ghana is, and they googled it. Because I went there, kids listen to my words and take into consideration. It’s pretty incredible” Continuing her work for the UNICEF, Gomez raised over $700,000 at her second Trick-or-Treat campaign. She also participated in celebrity auction and hosted a live webs cast series on Facebook for this event.

In February 2011, Gomez traveled to Chile to witness and meet with the families of UNICEF’s supported program, “Programa Puente” which helps families better understand and develop skills to deal effectively with early children education, development and other issues related to raising children. After her trip, she said, “UNICEF is helping Chilean families get out of poverty, prevent violence within the home and promote education. To witness first hand these families’ struggles and also their hope and perseverance, was truly inspiring”

Her second trip took pace fresh off the sage of her benefit concert for UNICEF, which raised about $200,000. For the ENOUGH Project, an effort to end genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan, Chad, Congo, northern Uganda, and Somalia, Gomez was a huge asset. She witnessed firsthand the difficulties that Colgolese citizens were struggling due to the war, poverty and conflict minerals. She also made a PSA with Kermit the Frog to raise awareness of endangered amphibians, half of which will extinct soon if something doesn’t happen.

3. What more?

Gomez recently joined other celebrities in strutting her stuff down the runway in Beverly Hills in aid of Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where over $1 million dollars was raised for the cause. She is also taking a part in launching the second close circuit media centre, “The Voice” in the children’s hospital of Philadelphia on behalf f the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.In April 2012, Gomez was named ambassador to the Ryan Seacreast Foundation.

It seems like lady Selena Gomez has more than enough to be Justin Bieber’s girlfriend. She is fast becoming an international role model for kids everywhere.