Parents always want the best for their children, but in an increasingly overwhelming world, it can be hard to stay positive. As a society, we need to actively work harder to inspire future generations to protect our planet and its people. Thankfully, there are many amazing role models out there that can motivate children to get involved in making the world a better place.

Top 5 Role Models for Children

  1. Malala YousafzaiMalala is one of the most famous role models of our time. She was born in the small village of Mingora, Pakistan, where it was uncommon for girls to go to school. At just 11 years old, she was forced out of school when the Taliban, the Sunni Islamist military organization, took control of her village. After speaking out about gender equality and the right to learn, she was shot in the head at 15 years old. At this point, most people would have given up, but not Malala. She kept fighting and made her own organization called the Malala Fund—a charity dedicated to fighting for equal rights and providing girls worldwide the opportunity to attend school. That year, she became the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize and later went on to graduate from Oxford University.
  2. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, has made headlines across the United States. One of the most progressive candidates, and backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, AOC recently got reelected and kept her spot as a representative for New York’s 14th congressional district at just 30 years old. AOC has been vocal about the wealth inequality gap, racial discrimination and climate change. In a time of uncertainty, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s election has been seen as a progression toward an equal world.
  3. Pink — Alecia Beth Moore, known professionally as Pink, has not only achieved momentous achievements as a singer but has often used her fame to advocate for equality and children’s rights. As a UNICEF ambassador, Pink raises awareness about global poverty, malnutrition and access to education and medicine. Moreover, Pink has supported charities related to HIV/AIDS, animal rights and women’s rights, among others. The famous singer even gets her children involved in the work, making sure to instill a sense of charity in them. At one of her rehearsals, Pink’s daughter set up a backstage candy sale to raise money for the impoverished communities in Haiti. This is a great way to get the kids involved and inspire them to do more on their own.
  4. Selena Gomez — Seen as a triple threat in the entertainment industry, Selena Gomez is another fantastic role model for children. In addition to her successful career, Gomez has consistently shown support for various charities and philanthropic endeavors worldwide. She was also appointed a UNICEF ambassador in 2009 and has dedicated a lot of time to improve societal and economic equality in the world by participating in various UNICEF campaigns and continuing charitable work on her own. Recently, Gomez has used her social media platforms to spread awareness about the social and racial injustices in the United States. Selena Gomez has also shown support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Malala Fund and Free the Children, among others.
  5. Matt DamonMatt Damon is an incredible actor who is no stranger to charity work. He has pledged to provide clean water for impoverished communities worldwide by creating his nonprofit organization. In 2009, Matt Damon and Gary White co-founded that helps more than 17 countries receive clean water and sanitation supplies. Additionally,, through its WaterCredit program and microfinancing, supports households living in poverty with loans to obtain essential water systems, making clean water safe, cost-effective and accessible for more than 30 million people.

There are many fantastic role models worldwide that demonstrate how crucial nonprofit organizations are in improving people’s standards of living worldwide. Yet, perhaps the most important role models are the parents at home. Teach children about the real impact of charity work and get them involved in both local and global humanitarian organizations. As children grow older, they will start to venture off on their own charity projects, ensuring a brighter and equal future.

Karin Filipova
Photo: Flickr

Matt Damon and
Over the course of two decades, Matt Damon has built quite the resume, with acting achievements and accolades that aspiring actors can only dream of receiving. Damon entered the Hollywood spotlight after his break through film “Good Will Hunting,” which he starred in and co-wrote with close friend Ben Affleck, eventually winning the Oscar for best writing in 1998. Following his historic debut, Damon has gone on to star in highly-praised films such as “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Departed” and the Bourne trilogy.

Damon has since devoted his time to provide underdeveloped countries in Africa, Latin America and South Asia with access to clean water through his foundation,

According to, 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water, 2.4 billion lack access to improved sanitation, and one million are killed by tainted water or other poor sanitation-related diseases each year. One in three people lacks access to a toilet, and every 90 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease–including diarrhea, the third leading cause of death among children.

Damon decided he could no longer ignore the suffering of millions of people on a daily basis, considering that lack of sanitary water is preventable. Damon addressed his discontent with the ongoing water crisis to CNN, saying, “You know, imagine if we cure cancer tomorrow and in 100 years, three-and-a-half million people a year are still dying of it. I mean it’s just unconscionable.”

Using his celebrity platform, Damon created a nonprofit that provides affordable access to safe water and proper lavatory facilities through microfinance loans. Damon and White met at the Clinton Global Initiative and discovered that both had similar organizations that focused on clean and safe water (Damon with H20 Africa Foundation, and White with Water Partners).

Damon and White agreed to merge their charities, and in 2009, was born. has since provided more than six million people with access to safe and sanitary water while implementing programs in 14 different countries across the globe, including Ethiopia, Cambodia and Brazil.

One of the main goals of is to give women and children a life where they do not have to work hours on end to obtain water. suggests that women suffer the most from the water crisis, due to the fact that women and children spend close to six hours a day collecting water. By providing access to clean water, Matt Damon’s believes women can use the extra time saved to pursue work and school.

One of the countries most impacted by the efforts of Matt Damon’s has been Ethiopia, where 43 million people don’t have access to safe water and 71 million lack access to improved sanitation. Through the contributions made by, 149,000 Ethiopians have been reached with improved water, sanitation and hygiene. As recently as 2015, launched WaterCredit programs, which the organization expects to bring 40,000 people access to safe water over five years.

Matt Damon’s has not slowed down its efforts. In the beginning of 2017, partnered with Stella Artois to further their pursuit of clean and sanitized water. If you buy a pint or bottle in various bars in the U.K and the U.S., Artois will personally fund a month of clean water for someone in the developing world.

Damon told CBS, “We’re going to try reach over the next four years 3.5 million more people with clean water solutions through Stella.” Through programs such as WaterCredits and the partnership with Stella Artois, Matt Damon and will keep fighting to provide accessible clean and sanitized water for all.

Patrick Greeley

Photo: Flickr