Who run the world? Girls!
Hayek sat down with iJustine’s Justine Ezarik for People.com’s Why I Care video series to talk about Chime for Change – and to encourage everyone to get involved in helping others.
“This is the kind of work that will bring joy to anyone who does it and will bring hope to everyone who lives on this planet,” she says.
The 48-year-old actress and producer has been a longtime proponent of humanitarian work, working with organizations including Unicef.
“I’ve been doing social work since way before I was an actress or I was famous, so I don’t think that this is the kind of work that you need to do because you’re a celebrity,” she explains.
The Chime for Change campaign was created to “give power to the people,” Hayek says, encouraging others to lend a hand who otherwise might not know how to help. The campaign funnels donations to a range of causes, from a nonprofit helping schoolchildren in Kenya to medical volunteers rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.
As part of her commitment, Hayek, mom of daughter Valentina Paloma, 7, took a trip to Lebanon where she met children who, she says, have no families, homes or “clear vision of the future.”
“If we can bring them hope, if they have access to education, they might change the idea of the propaganda that we are evil in America,” she says. “If we help them, their perception of who we are is going to be different.”
Hayek adds, “We cannot abandon these human beings like that.”
For much more from Salma Hayek, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday