3 inspiring celebrities using their platform for change

Any way you slice it, celebs have a big stage to address topics of universal importance such as Human Rights. That’s why, as a purpose driven company, we strongly believe they can and should make a huge difference and therefore are thrilled some of them already are doing so. In the sign of Human rights month, we’ve listed up three women who left us moved and amazed.

Deepika Padukone 

When thinking about basic human rights, access to potable water, sanitation, healthy environmental conditions and proper education are the first things that pop into our minds. However, mental health is a human right too and it might be one of the most overlooked issues.  In an article on The Economic Times India, The World Health Organisation revealed that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from a mental disorder and that by 2020, this year,  this number will have risen to 20 percent of India’s population. All whilst having too little mental health professionals.  Enter Deepika Padukone, one of India’s most beloved Bollywood actresses, but above all the bright brains behind the Live Love Laugh Foundation. After battling depression herself, she decided to form her very own foundation in 2015 together with her sister Anisha Padukone. Live Love Laugh Foundation aims to raise awareness about mental health in India and encourage empathetic discussion. Live Love Laugh Foundation’s has been working on destigmatizing mental health issues in many different ways. The #Youarenotalone School programme focuses on educating adolescents and teachers. Then there’s also a doctor’s programme to counteract the severe shortage of mental health professionals in India.  We think it’s inspiring how she drew power from her own struggle and now is helping people all across India.

Nazanin Boniadi

It's bizarre to be given an award for being empathetic and kind, which is what we all should be.”  These are the words of Nazanin Boniadi, the second game changer we’d like to discuss. Some of you might have seen her playing in movies such as Passenger and Hotel Mumbai. Though, this award she was talking about, has not much to do with her acting skills.Today we’re talking about her being a full time activist offscreen and making a real change for a lot of women out there. Being born in Iran at the height of the Iranian revolution, she already got a taste of limited humanitarian women rights at a very young age. Even though quickly after her birth she moved to London and has spend most of her time living in England, human right issues in her native country remained close to her heart.  In an interview with Elle she once said:  “As actors, we have so much attention on us, and when I can, I want to divert that attention back onto people who really need it.” And so she did. From 2009 to 2015, Nazanin served as a spokesperson and blogger for Amnesty International USA, focussing in particular on the freedom of political prisoners, youth and women in Iran. Unfortunately, the country is known for imprisoning people without a fair trial or humane treatment.The next step for her was to finally join the Center for Human Rights in Iran in 2015 and to become a member of the board. Lastly, she’s  also part of the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank in New York. We don’t know how she manages to do all of this at the same time, so it’s safe to say that Nazanin is definitely a woman to look up to.

Natalia Vodianova

A big hearted philanthropist is how you’d best describe Natalia Vodianova.  The Russian supermodel once grew up in the Soviet Union in dire poverty. When Natalia was scouted at the age of fifteen, she was able to escape her penniless environment. However, this period is not one she just wanted to forget about and never look back to. Instead, she now uses her star power for real change. With her charity Naked Heart Foundation, set up in 2004, she improves the daily lives of poor children in Russia through specialized shelters, help for families with disabled children and the construction of playgrounds throughout the country. Rather than placing vulnerable children in an orphanage, the charity’s aim is to help them stay with their families.For example, they’ve  been building stimulating play facilities throughout Russia to help children and their families without a secure environment to play. Inclusivity is what bonds all these different facilities together.  But it doesn’t stop at the Naked Heart Foundation, though. With the idea of engaging more millenials Natalia co-founded Elbi in 2015. The app aims to connect charities with people from all over the world.  The idea is to do small online tasks driven by charities such as drawing for a sick child, resharing content about the charity or simply donating. Each task or donation generates a LoveCoin, allowing users to cash in for luxury brand items from the LoveShop.  The app makes micro-donations - starting from $1 - possible so even those with less means, can engage in social good. 
Seeing celebrities contribute to a better world and taking example for others is uplifting. In a world where human rights still aren’t self-evident, we’re inspired to see how people with power are rooting for change. In fact, our dream is that this could become the norm.