Canadian actress, Mackenzie Davis, is best known for her roles in Breathe In, That Awkward Moment, The Martian, Blade Runner 2049, and most recently The F Word, which saw her nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.
Behind this success is a driven, hard-working and ambitious woman who didn’t let anyone stand in her way. We’re overjoyed to announce that she will be One Girl Can’s ambassador, championing women’s education and independence.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I think more than anything it is an opportunity to bring attention to and engage with the ways we can improve the quality of life for women across the world. That means actively supporting causes and ideas that champion women’s education and their financial independence to shift the way they are treated and perceived in our communities, both locally and internationally.
As the daughter of One Girl Can’s founder Lotte Davis you seen One Girl Can grow first-hand. How has the charity changed since it started in 2008?
I’ve been lucky to witness the entire evolution of One Girl Can over the past 11 years. It was founded by my mother when I was in university, and watching the program grow and adapt to the needs of the girls and the communities that it works with has been really inspiring. What started as an program to renovate schools, alleviate overcrowding and create functional science laboratories and dormitories, eventually grew into a high-school scholarship program, with workshops focused on confidence building, goal setting, career development, and strategic thinking. Then came post-secondary scholarships, and more intensive mentorship including a leadership conference in Nairobi each year with leading Kenyan businesswomen giving workshops in HR, skills training, and entrepreneurship to teach the girls how to get a job. It’s a really immersive approach, with an emphasis on addressing every structure in a girl’s life in order for her to achieve her goals.
What inspired you to take on the role of One Girl Can’s ambassador?
An enormous amount of research supports the idea that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty and oppression. Educating girls, challenging the idea of what role a woman holds and what she can achieve – this is a way to empower a neglected demographic to reshape our world.
What do you hope to achieve as an ambassador for One Girl Can?
It doesn’t drastically change my participation with the program as I’ve always been involved and passionate about the work that One Girl Can does. But I’m eager to talk publicly about the girls involved in One Girl Can and to give their stories a broader reach. My goal is to raise awareness about the work and ambitions of One Girl Can and to get more people committed to supporting girls education.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about One Girl Can?
It’s less important than the work that they do, but a comforting transparency: the administrative costs are entirely absorbed by AG Hair, meaning that 100% of donor contributions go directly to the projects in Kenya and Uganda. I think that makes supporting this program feel much more immediate, and hopefully inspires people to fund a scholarship, as you know exactly where your money is going.
Words of wisdom for young girls today?
Be noisy and messy and ambitious and don’t care if people think you’re too much.