You might know Naomi Scott from her role as Jasmine in Disney’s live action adaptation of the movie Aladdin. But what you might not have realized is that Scott is a Christian who is an Ambassador for Compassion International and is passionate about empowering women. She recently visited Rwanda and saw some of the work Compassion is doing in communities there.
“The women I met in Rwanda…were so inspiring! They took nothing and made something,” Scott told Compassion. “I saw the impact when women started daring to think, daring to dream. When they came together you could see that they felt loved.”
More to Offer
Compassion is a charity that serves children living in poverty, and one of the main ways Compassion helps children is by connecting them with people who can financially sponsor them. In addition to becoming sponsors, those with a public platform can collaborate with Compassion by becoming ambassadors, like Scott. Scott’s trip was part of a Compassion initiative called the Different Path Appeal, which partners with a local church to protect “women during their pregnancy and ensures that their babies have a healthy start in life.”
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“For me, it’s all about instilling value and hope. I think when we feel valued we begin to dream, that’s where it starts. It’s so important to get young girls to understand that they have a voice, they have something to offer” This is the incredible Ernestine, a beautiful woman and mother who is part of one of Compassion’s ‘Child survival projects’ in Kigali Rwanda. A few months ago I had the privilege of going to the beautiful Rwanda to see how Compassion’s ‘child survival projects’ change the lives of women across the world. I have worked with this charity for years and love their approach, working with communities and families to empower the next generation to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Child survival projects work with the communities most vulnerable mothers and mums to be to help meet their practical and medical needs whilst bringing together a community of women who can support each other emotionally and create an environment where they feel loved and valued. I sat down with Compassion to talk about Compassions ‘Different Path Appeal’, See link in bio for the full interview.
Scott says that the people she met on her trip were “amazing” and “so resilient.” “That was the underlying theme of the trip,” she says, “the universal language of women coming together, helping and empowering each other.” Scott believes that women need strong role models in order to recognize their own value and to live with hope. She says, “I think when we feel valued we begin to dream, that’s where it starts. It’s so important to get young girls to understand that they have a voice, they have something to offer.”
Pictured above is one of the women Scott met named Ernestine. Through meeting women like Ernestine, Scott saw that “Compassion is helping women understand they’ve got more to offer, growing them and giving them more opportunities.”
What Does This Have to Do With Jasmine?
When it came to the role of Jasmine, Scott says she loved to opportunity to play a character she already resonated with, but also relished the chance to expand on Jasmine’s qualities as a leader: “We wanted to portray she’s actually fighting for choice and the liberty and freedom of her kingdom.”
It’s for this reason that Scott is excited about the film’s new song, “Speechless.” “The essence of the song is all about finding your voice,” she says. “What a timely thing! There are so many people in our world who’ve been silenced, shut down, neglected. I know it’s a song in a Disney movie—and the issues we’ve seen and the issues that Compassion deals with are two different things—however, for me, they still connect in a way. I’m so passionate about giving people a voice.”
Following God in the Limelight
Scott says that people often ask her how she can be a Christian and do what she does. But, she says, “I don’t know how I would do life without my faith. That peace that you know you’re loved and valued is something that keeps me incredibly grounded, incredibly focused. Quite honestly, I don’t see it as this separate thing, this add-on thing. My faith is just a part of who I am and what I do.”