Goodwill ambassadors and celebrity advocates
UNICEF works with nearly 200 Goodwill Ambassadors to increase public awareness of the rights of children and women.
Globally, UNICEF works with nearly 200 Goodwill Ambassadors to increase public awareness of the rights of children and women and UNICEF's work in protecting those rights. In the nearly 50 years since celebrities began working with UNICEF, they have helped positively influence government policies on behalf of children, publicize children's issues around the globe and raise funds for UNICEF-supported programmes.
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.
In India, high profile supporters in India, from the world of film, music, theatre and sports have a strong national, regional and international appeal. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors help with creating trust, raising awareness and advocating with relevant audiences to leverage resources for children. These audiences also include the Indian diaspora and high net worth individuals across the globe.
The Goodwill Ambassadors, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra, Regional Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, Celebrity Advocates, Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Hima Das have strong appeal and reach with the audiences in India, the Indian diaspora across the globe as well as the global audiences such as in China, and other Asian countries.
Goodwill ambassadors and celebrity advocates also give us opportunities to work closely with the Government of India as they seek UNICEF support to engage ambassadors for important national campaigns.
These pages give some background about UNICEF’s celebrity representatives and their work – and provide some evidence of the positive power of fame.