"Our one goal is to make sure that every child has access to an education," Jessica Alba says of her March visit to Ghana, Senegal and Johannesburg with the 1GOAL: Education for All campaign, which aims to provide basic schooling to children around the world.
"After I had my daughter [Honor, 1½] everything got put into a completely different perspective," says Alba, who joins Bono during a tour of Ghana's Osu Presby Cluster School. Enrollment there has increased "dramatically" because of initiatives to provide free school uniforms and free lunches, according to Alba.
As U.S. co-chair of 1Goal, Alba addresses the students of Osu. "This is really a chance for us to make sure that every child gets an education," Alba said. "72 million children in the world don't have access to an education."
Alba sheds her movie-star glamour to hit the field with Osu students and leading African soccer players. "You can’t go anywhere in Africa without seeing kids playing the sport," she writes. "The excitement for the first-ever World Cup in Africa this summer is everywhere."
Hopping over to Johannesburg, South Africa – host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – Alba speaks to students in Soweto Township. "I met children who work to support their families but dream of going to school," she says, "and families who told me that providing an education for their children is their only way to beat poverty."
"If there's any way I can contribute to giving a voice to women and children so they can have more opportunities and a better chance at life, I will," says Alba, who listens to mothers at a community meeting in Tema. Next up: Teaming up with Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in Washington, D.C., for landmark legislation to help achieve universal education around the world.