The actress visited Kenyan slums on a trip with the Half the Sky Movement

By Julia Haskins
October 05, 2012 02:30 PM
Dimitrios Kambouris/Wireimage

Olivia Wilde is on a mission to ensure that women across the world have the same basic needs met that many take for granted.

The actress joins Eva Mendes, America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Meg Ryan and Gabrielle Union in the Half the Sky Movement, which has teamed with the International Rescue Committee and a number of other non-profit organizations to illuminate issues that affect women globally.

On an eye-opening trip to Kenya with Half the Sky last year, Wilde, 28, visited with the Shining Hope for Communities organization and their Kibera School for Girls.

“This was the most extraordinary school I’ve ever seen,” Wilde tells PEOPLE of Kibera, which provides students with tuition-free education and protection from the dangers of Kenyan slums. “I hope everyone will be as moved as I was and support this amazing organization.”

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Wilde adds that she experienced some heartbreaking realities on her travels to the slums, such as lack of access to proper bathroom facilities, which she describes in the video below.

But the humanitarians of Half the Sky are already seeing rays of hope through their educational initiatives.

Wilde says that watching a woman in Kenya receive her own toilet – after risking attacks at a public one – “represents the fact that she does not have to live in fear that she can live with a certain amount of dignity.”

Wilde and the other stars are featured in the two-part, four-hour PBS special Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which aired Oct. 1 and 2 and can be streamed online through Oct. 8.