How Meghan Markle Used Celebrity Status for Charity and Advocacy Even Before Meeting Harry
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Meghan Markle is no stranger to partnering with charities, and she has always used her voice to campaign for others.
Here are a few examples of how Markle has exploited her fame to promote activism and charity.
WORLD VISION GLOBAL AMBASSADOR
From 2016 to 2017, Meghan Markle served as a Global Ambassador for World Vision, the world’s leading charitable children’s charity. In early 2016, she also traveled to Rwanda with World Vision to see firsthand the value of clean water.
She taught students to paint with watercolours using water from a recently built pipeline in their neighborhood while attending a classroom. The students developed artwork focused on their expectations and dreams for the future, which have been brighter as a result of the recent access to clean water.
Meghan Markle wrote on the World Vision website:
“I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is but it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren’t walking hours each day to source water for their families. It allows women to invest in their own businesses and community. It promotes grassroots leadership, and, of course, it reinforces the health and wellness of children and adults. Every single piece of it is so interconnected, and clean water, this one life source, is the key to it all.”
“It was an amazing experience, taking water from one of the water sources in the community and using it with the children to paint pictures of what they dream to be when they grow up. I saw that water is not just a life source for a community, but it can really be a source for creative imagination, and how lucky I am to have been a part of that.”
THE MYNA MAHILA FOUNDATION
The Myna Mahila Foundation, which promotes feminine health and provides affordable jobs to women from underprivileged backgrounds, is one of the charities that Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, supports.
Markle’s advocacy for World Vision is also linked to her work with the Myna Mahila Foundation. At t his organization, according to Vanity Fair, “women manufacture sanitary pads to sell in communities. The effort not only provides these resources to girls, but also fosters open communication about menstruation.” Markle’s commitment to women’s issues, and the open discussion of topics such as menstruation, is important for communities everywhere.”
ONE YOUNG WORLD COUNSELLOR
“To gather young leaders from around the world, help them make lasting connections & create positive change,” is One Young World’s mission statement. Markle participated in the One Young World Summits in Dublin, Ireland (2014) and Ottawa, Canada as a Counsellor (2016). She gave a talk alongside Justin Trudeau at the 2016 Summit, where she notably criticized the Suits creator for asking her character to perform too many semi-naked scenes on the program.
Kate Robertson and David Jones, co-founders of One Young World, told Vanity Fair, “We are thrilled that the Duchess of Sussex will be returning to our stage next week. She is a much loved member of the One Young World community who has supported us since 2014; she’s an inspiration to young leaders all over the world, and we’re delighted to be partnering with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which the Duchess is Vice President, to provide scholarships for young leaders from every Commonwealth country to attend the One Young World Summit in London.”
ADVOCATE FOR THE UNITED NATIONS
Markle wrote for ELLE UK in November 2016 regarding her time collaborating with the United Nations: “I was in a van heading back from Gihembe refugee camp in Rwanda. I was there as an advocate for UN Women; I had a week of meetings with female parliamentarians in the city’s capital, Kigali, celebrating the fact that 64 percent of the Rwandan government are women–the first in the world where women hold a majority.”
In the essay, Markle expressed her commitment to charitable work, stating, “This type of work is what feeds my soul. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.”
Though Markle has recently been credited with helping to raise global awareness of gender equality, she says her activist nature goes back to when she was a child.
“When I was just 11 years old, I unknowingly and somehow accidentally became a female advocate” Markle said in 2015 at the UN Women’s “20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing” gathering.
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