After Angelina Jolie, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra visits victims of sexual violence in Zimbabwe !
Angelina Jolie, the Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, was among the first to take up the cause of fighting for the rights of refugees and displaced people.Global superstar Priyanka Chopra now takes the baton ahead as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
The international superstar has called for increased awareness and support for child victims of sexual violence and made an emotional visit to Zimbabwe this week, where she met child survivors of sexual violence and heard their harrowing stories.
Said Priyanka, “When I met these survivors — young brave women and children, and listened to their experiences, it just broke my heart. I will never forget their stories. No woman, and most definitely no child, should ever have to experience sexual violence”.
On the second day of her visit, Chopra visited Childline Zimbabwe, the country’s 24-hour service for children who have been abused, violated or exploited. Her first stop was a Childline drop-in center in Epworth, where she met survivors of sexual violence who shared their stories. Chopra then visited the Childline call-in center to meet the Helpline counsellors and listen to some of the calls being fielded in real-time.
“I was astonished by the number of calls that were coming in during the brief time I was there. The counsellors and volunteers told me that many calls come from children who are hysterical because they have been raped or abused. Those who were calling were sounding so scared. Without Childline, they would have nowhere to turn. This is a model that many countries with high rates of violence against children can adopt. It is a safe place for children to turn to and know that their call will be answered by a compassionate person who will take their complaints seriously and respond” said Chopra.
The next day, Priyanka also hosted UNICEF South Africa’s first Gala event in Johannesburg to raise funds for UNICEF’s work for children in the country.
Talking about the initiative she said, “As a society, it is on us to provide and take care of our children as citizens of the world, to educate children at a young age and make them aware that it’s not okay to be inappropriately touched, and that under-age sex can lead to unwanted teen pregnancy or HIV.”