UNICEF appoints Didi-Stone as newest National Ambassador in Democratic Republic of the Congo
KINSHASA, 08 MARCH 2022 – UNICEF Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has appointed French-Congolese model Didi-Stone as its newest National Ambassador.
The appointment – made on International Women’s Day – will see Didi Stone use her profile to help drive change for children in the DRC and Africa, with a focus on issues affecting girls, including child marriage.
"As a girl from the Congo, I cannot remain insensitive to issues affecting girls, especially child marriage. Child marriage is an injustice that has serious consequences for a girl's life, her community and her entire country. I am committed to working with UNICEF to ensure that no girl is married before the age of 18," said Didi-Stone.
A girl from West and Central Africa faces the highest risk in the world of child marriage. In the DRC, nearly one in three women has been married before the age of 18.
"Combating all forms of violence against women and girls, including child marriage, is a priority for UNICEF. I am honoured to welcome Didi-Stone as UNICEF DRC’s newest National Ambassador, supporting our goal to give every Congolese girl the opportunity to build a better future," said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
To mark her appointment, Didi-Stone will attend the US premiere of Vaillante, a fictional mini-series about child marriage in West and Central Africa. The series tells the story of a young woman’s painful past as her fate intertwines with the uncertain future of a soon-to-be-married girl, and showcases how young people, especially girls, can be part of the solution if empowered to take action. It also shows the critical role of girls’ education in delaying and ultimately preventing child marriage.
While trends in child marriage have improved in recent years in the DRC, COVID-19 poses a direct threat to progress, exacerbating gender inequality in protection, health and economic status. UNICEF is calling for increased investments in the education system in the DRC ensuring that girls are at the center of national development strategies.
Over the years, Didi-Stone has supported non-profit organizations in the DRC with a particular focus on providing a safe space for orphaned children. She joins Fally Ipupa, Lokua Kanza and Céline Banza as UNICEF DRC National Ambassadors.