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.
After almost three decades working for the benefit of every child in Kazakhstan, UNICEF Kazakhstan has a longstanding tradition of partnering with prominent individuals from the arts, sports, and music industries. Outstanding musician and composer Batyrkhan Shukenov was the first National UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Kazakhstan. Dinara Saduakassova, one of the 10 best chess players in the world, has also actively supported UNICEF Kazakhstan initiatives since 2017. Members of NINETY ONE, popular Q-Pop group, became National UNICEF Ambassadors in Kazakhstan in 2023 to raise awareness about the most important issues facing children in Kazakhstan with a particular focus on children’s mental wellbeing and online safety.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors help with creating trust, raising awareness and advocating with relevant audiences to leverage resources for children.
These pages give some background about UNICEF’s celebrity representatives and their work – and provide some evidence of the positive power of fame.