Pamela Anderson is turning her hand to another kind of rescue – helping Russian orphans find a home.
In a world exclusive, Pamela Anderson has been filmed reading a fairytale for the Read to Me website founded by the Change One Life charity, which helps find families for the hundreds of thousands of children in orphanages across Russia.
The Read to Me project, devised by ad agency Young & Rubicam, encourages Russian orphans in institutional homes to ask for their favourite fairytales or stories to be read to them by their favourite stars.
Anderson is the latest star in a glittering line-up of actors, directors, sportspeople, pop stars and artists to have their reading filmed and uploaded via the site’s YouTube channel and Russian’s biggest social media network Odnoklassniky.
The idea is to make the children feel special and needed, with a famous face taking the time to read to them, and raise awareness about the orphans to any potential parents, in Russia or beyond, who may wish to adopt them.
There are an estimated 330,000 children in Russian state orphanages, of whom half are disabled. Read to Me aims to change that by using the site to raise awareness about the orphans for potential parents.
Anyone can help the orphans by joining the Read to Me project and watching the readings themselves or together with their children. Access to the site is free of charge, but a proportion of the money from the pre-roll advertising on the videos goes direct to the Foundation.
Scientists have found that reading to children helps cultivate their curiosity, improves their imagination and aids brain development and reading skills, helping to ensure children get the best start in life.
Change One Life, the founders of the Read to Me and their partners, advertising agency Young & Rubicam, are certain they will see their goal – for the site to have even more of a global reach – become a reality with the help of Pamela Anderson.
Read to Me has already racked up almost 300,000 views on YouTube and Odnoklassniky.
Global celebrity Anderson, who is also a passionate animal rights activist, was last month named PETA 2016 Person of the Year. The mother-of-two also stars in the long-anticipated movie version of Baywatch alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron, which opens in May this year.
Yana Leonova, executive director of Change One Life, said: “Orphans have been given the chance to get their favourite celebrities to read to them. And the beauty of the project is that this gives them close to the same levels of excitement that more fortunate children experience when their parents read to them.”