Courtesy Oxfam
Gabrielle Olya
July 24, 2014 05:00 PM

Minnie Driver has had a long-standing dedication to giving back, something that she hopes to pass on to her 5-year-old son, Henry.

“The notions of service and kindness are really, really big in our house,” the actress, 44, tells PEOPLE. “They’re things that we should all have, whether rich, poor, famous, or not famous. They’re qualities that we should all be fostering in ourselves and in our kids.”

Driver has been involved with Oxfam International, which works to find global solutions to poverty, since she was in elementary school, and she recently took a life-changing trip with the organization to Southeast Asia.

“I’ve been particularly interested in the labor rights of women in developing countries, like Cambodia and Thailand,” Driver says. “I worked there and saw what was going on. I visited factories. I can’t tell you about the living conditions of these young women.”

The About a Boy star is thankful that she can use her celebrity status to shine a light on such an important cause.

“I’m happy to use whatever attention I can bring to a subject that I now know a lot about and feel really confident supporting,” she says. “Your only job, when you recognize that you have a lot, is to teach people that haven’t been so lucky how they can make their lives better for themselves. Your job is to, where you can, help.”

For more of our interview with Minnie Driver, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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