Because I am a Girl works with celebrity ambassadors around the world to raise awareness of the power of girls and to highlight the long-term benefits of gender equality. Below are a selection of celebrities we are partnered with to ensure girls are able to learn, lead, decide and thrive.
Actress Freida Pinto, star of Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) became Because I am a Girl’s global ambassador in 2012. In her capacity as global ambassador, she’s visited programmes in Sierra Leone, the Philippines, India, and Ethiopia. In 2013, she was awarded the Traveler magazine Visionaries award for her work with Because I am a Girl.
If we educate and empower girls, they will reach their fullest potential, pulling themselves and their families out of poverty
"I have always been a true believer in the power of every individual, especially every girl," says Freida. "If we educate and empower girls, they will reach their fullest potential, pulling themselves and their families out of poverty."
“The way to end the cycle of poverty, reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and early marriage, and address many other ills that befall our girls is through education.”
Phoebe Tonkin has built a hugely successful acting career both in Australia and internationally. She is perhaps best known for her lead role in the supernatural series The Originals.
Phoebe also starred in the box office hit based on the international best seller Tomorrow When The War Began and the feature film Bait, in which she plays the leading role opposite Xavier Samuel and Julian McMahon.
Phoebe became a Because I am a Girl ambassador in 2016.
Internationally renowned model Toni Garrn became a Because I am a Girl ambassador in July 2014. She has since visited projects in Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso, where she sponsors a girl, along with another in Vietnam.
“I know from my own experience, that graduating from school is the most important thing. Now I have the freedom to choose if I want to go to university. I believe, that irrespective of where we are born, girls should have the right to decide what they want to do and be able to go for it. This is the message I would like to spread” said Toni.
Game of Thrones actress and longtime Plan International sponsor Lena Headey, became an official Because I am a Girl USA ambassador in 2014. She was also the face for Plan International UK’s Face Up campaign to end female genital mutilation. In the campaign, Lena’s face was adorned with the words of girls who have experienced child marriage and female genital mutilation.
Join the movement Lena said: “It fills me with hope that someday soon girls can grow up in a world that is free from these harmful practices. I urge everyone – men, boys, women and girls – to join me in standing up for girls’ rights.”
In 2015, Lena penned a moving blog announcing her second pregnancy and her support of Plan International’s work to protect and empower millions of girls around the world.
Dancer, singer and actress Julianne Hough, a Because I am a Girl ambassador since 2014, joined Plan International USA in celebrating last year’s International Day of the Girl. Julianne, in a ceremony attended by youth from around the world, lit the Empire State Building in pink lights to commemorate the day.
“Everyone wins when we invest in girls. The prospect of changing something this big is daunting, but let’s start with making sure girls have equal access to education. There are 62 million girls missing from classrooms worldwide. It's our responsibility to make sure that those aren't 62 million opportunities lost” said Julianne.
Richard Lui, anchor and reporter for NBC/MSNBC, became a Because I am a Girl USA ambassador in 2013. In his capacity as an ambassador, he’s visited programmes in El Salvador, Peru, Paraguay, and India. He’s won numerous awards for his philanthropic endeavors and support of girls and women around the world.
“Thanks to Because I am a Girl, we’ve been able to bring real and lasting change to girls in our programme countries. But we also know that including men and boys in how we engage and support girls is a key component to ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty” said Richard.
Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili
World-famous Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and her elder sister Gvantsa, also an excellent pianist, became Because I am a Girl Switzerland ambassadors in 2015.
"Our mother was an example for us on how to make something from nothing. We had times when we didn't have a dollar at home but our mother said in those moments: “If you study hard, the future is yours.” We want every girl to get an education, to know their rights, to be strong and confident so they can build their futures," said the Buniatishvili sisters.
In 2015, baseball star Mo’ne Davis became Plan International USA’s newest Because I am a Girl ambassador. Mo’ne is the first female to throw a shutout in the Little League World Series. In her capacity as an ambassador, Mo’ne designed limited edition Because I am a Girl trainers. Proceeds from the trainers go towards Because I am a Girl projects around the world.
"I never thought at the age of 13 I'd be a role model, but having young girls look up to me is pretty cool!" said Mo'ne.
Popular German actress Wolke Hegenbarth has been a Plan International sponsor since 2008, supporting girls in Egypt and Zambia. In 2012, she travelled to Zambia to visit her sponsored child Mailess and to see a Because I am a Girl project on youth economic empowerment, supported by Plan International Germany.
“I know it can be a challenge to tell people about the importance of education. Having seen for myself how Plan International works, I think it is the right way to bring sustainable change to communities and to support children, especially girls, to reach their full potential” said Wolke.