Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a Danish actor most known from the hit HBO TV series Game of Thrones, playing the character of Jamie Lannister. When he’s not acting, Waldau is actively involved in helping people in need. He supports charities like the International Rescue Committee and the Feed Foundation, mostly helping citizens in developing countries. After taking the role as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme in 2016, Waldau has been effectively using his fame and fortune for the greater good. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s humanitarian work proves that he has a big heart and is willing to help those in poverty around the globe.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Humanitarian Work in Rwanda
As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme, Waldau visited Rwanda just a few weeks before the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi. Waldau chose this mission to see how the country has improved since that time and to get insight on what innovations have effectively improved living standards for Rwandan citizens.
Having been born in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Waldau describes his experience visiting a country with such a rough history that overcame its suffering as impressive. “I was constantly impressed by what I experienced,” he said in an interview with the UNDP. “By how rapidly change can happen if there is connection between the people and the political will of the government.” It was encouraging for him to see the transformation that the country had gone through in such a short time.
Supporting Women’s Empowerment
In 2016, Waldau used his role as Ambassador to referee a women’s amateur soccer game in Nairobi, Kenya. This was a way to support the 17 Global Goals created by world leaders to put an end to some of the world’s toughest challenges, including poverty, by the year 2030. Waldau told the UNDP, “My main mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador is to raise awareness and support for the Global Goals to end poverty, which cannot be achieved without empowering women.” Being able to referee an all women’s soccer game portrays his commitment to issues that extend beyond the surface.
This was perfect for Waldau as he also dedicates his time supporting charities that raise awareness for gender equality. Waldau believes that empowered women lead to successful economies. He thinks that women will play an important part in poverty reduction. As a father of two daughters, Waldau has a lot of reason to work for women’s equality around the world.
Waldau’s unwavering commitment to using his fame to spread awareness about global poverty shows that he cares a lot about the future of everyone living on earth. Waldau exemplifies how to take time and use a broad platform to highlight issues that many choose to ignore. “I can be the person deflecting the spotlight onto the person next to me who is an expert dedicating his or her life to helping others,” Waldau told Atlantan Magazine in March 2019. Although he has said goodbye to his role as Jamie Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s humanitarian work as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme will create a lasting legacy.
– Jessica Curney
Photo: Wikimedia Commons