It’s always great to hear about our favorite celebrities, but when they’re doing something great that will help others, even better. Salma Hakek Pinault is on the cover of Variety magazine and was named one of the magazine’s power women of the year.
Hayek co-founded Chime for Change with Beyoncé and Gucci, a campaign supports nongovernmental agencies to empower women and girls around the world through initiatives focused on education, health and justice. To date the organization has raised $7.3 million with 153 nonprofit partners to fund projects in 88 countries, benefiting 400,000 women and girls.
“All the issues with poverty affect women double,” Hayek says. “When it comes to access to education, it’s always going to be the boys who have the few chances.” Chime for Change suggests nonprofit organizations that will help disadvantaged communities.
Her work in these countries is something she’s been doing for years. In 2009 Hayek was filmed breastfeeding a very hungry baby boy during a trip to Sierra Leone. Ironically the young boy was born on the same day as her own daughter, Valentina. Doctors in Sierra Leone told Hayek that many mothers stop breastfeeding their infants within the first few months after birth because of pressure from their husbands. In some areas it’s not acceptable to have sexual relations with breastfeeding women. This might be the reason why Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, in addition to malnutrition.