Helping children has become second nature to Anne Curtis. In fact, she said, it’s in her and in everyone.
“You won’t think twice about helping a child; even if it’s as simple as when they scraped their knees, it’s an immediate reaction for every adult to want to help them,” the 33-year-old actress and TV host told Manila Standard.
Having a “very happy childhood” further inspires Curtis to stand up and do something for the children.
“I had a childhood surrounded with love. I got to ride my bike to school, things like that. And these are the things you hope every child gets to experience as well, but sadly that’s not the case,” she lamented.
Curtis has long been actively involved in projects and organizations that address issues concerning young individuals. In 2009, she became a major donor to UNICEF, then in 2014 she was appointed as a celebrity advocate.
Her special projects with the non-profit organization include the Heroes for Children runs to support children’s First 1,000 Days, fundraising through international marathons, and a children’s book that encourages reading and instilling confidence in one’s self.
Working closely with UNICEF, she said, has allowed her to “learn more about the different issues children are facing in our country: not every child has a safe home, not every child has a safe environment; they don’t feel the love.”
With this knowledge, the actress and social media “queen” has been resolved to use her voice and her reach to make a difference. Curtis currently has nearly 14 million followers on Facebook, 11 million on Instagram, and nearly 11 million on Twitter.
“I want to be part of making a difference and raising awareness and funds so that there would be more people reaching out and helping these children,” Curtis fervently said.
Earlier this year, Curtis, together with TV host and mother of three Daphne Oseña-Paez, were conferred the formal title of UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador.
The two Filipino celebrities join ambassadors Gary Valenciano, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, Millie Bobby Brown, Jackie Chan, Priyanka Chopra, Ricky Martin, Leo Messi, Liam Neeson, Shakira, and Lilly Singh.
“UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors are well-known personalities who lend their influence for the well-being of children, who are willing to do their utmost to mobilize support for children,” said UNICEF Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander.
Sylwander said Curtis and Oseña-Paez were conferred the title because of their long engagement with and support for the organization. “They’re really good at what they’re doing, and now is the right time [to formally bestow upon them the title]. The stars have aligned, so to speak,” she said.
As UNICEF envoys, Curtis and Oseña-Paez will help spread the message of the organization, reach out to people, and help in fundraising.
Following her recent appointment, Curtis shared she will be focusing on projects for adolescence.
“In my first four years [with UNICEF] I worked with young children. This year I will be focusing on working with those on their way to adulthood because there’s a lot of issues with them today such as HIV, teen pregnancy, bullying, and cyberbullying,” said Curtis.
Curtis is one of the first celebrities to speak out against the legislative proposal to lower the age of criminal liability in the country from 15 to 9 years old.
“At that age (9 years old), they are still very much children. They still have a chance to change their ways if they happen to cause or get into any trouble,” she said in the now viral tweet.
The actress said she stands with UNICEF. She reiterated that there’s no need to lower the criminal age of responsibility, and instead fully implement the current law.
“Children should be our priority and it is our collective responsibility to ensure they have a bright future ahead of them. There is still much more to be done but I believe we all can play our part to bring smiles to children’s faces,” emphasized Curtis.
Because at the end of the day, her biggest dream is for every child in the world to be happy and safe.
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