|© UNICEF/HQ08-0737/Roger LeMoyne|
|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow holds a baby who was displaced by the successive hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Haiti.|
What qualifies a singer, an actor or an athlete to represent UNICEF? And what good can celebrities really do?
UNICEF’s celebrities have a wide range of talents and achievements, but they all share a commitment to improving the lives of children worldwide. And in each case a celebrity’s association with UNICEF comes about because he or she has already demonstrated that commitment.
Fame has some clear benefits in certain roles with UNICEF. Celebrities attract attention, so they are in a position to focus the world’s eyes on the needs of children, both in their own countries and by visiting field projects and emergency programmes abroad. They can make direct representations to those with the power to effect change. They can use their talents and fame to fundraise and advocate for children and support UNICEF’s mission to ensure every child’s right to health, education, equality and protection.
UNICEF was the first of many ‘causes’ to enlist the help of celebrities. Danny Kaye pioneered the role of Ambassador-at-Large in 1954; it was taken on by Audrey Hepburn and others, building up into the current distinguished roster of international, regional and national goodwill ambassadors.
These pages give some background about UNICEF’s celebrity representatives and their work – and provide some evidence of the positive power of fame.