In Ghana, where celebrity culture rules the zeitgeist, actress and TV personality Joselyn Dumas’s off-camera work arguably warrants more credit than her time on the screen. As the founder of her namesake Joselyn Canfor-Dumas Foundation, she works to advance children’s rights and tackle health and environmental challenges pervading her country, funding aid efforts ranging from improving hospital infrastructure to blood transfusions for sickle cell anemia to campaigns to raise awareness on plastic pollution.
With a daughter of her own, Dumas has a particularly vested interest in tackling gender-related taboos in her country, such as menstruation and “period poverty,” which exacerbates gender inequality in education and income levels, as well as youth empowerment – not only for the sake of their generation, but also for that of her own. She believes humanitarianism means contributing positively to society, even when no one is watching.
“I know that sounds so cliché to say children are the future,” she says. “But if you’re able to educate the child about the need to preserve the environment… they become a tool and a channel to educate adults. For me, that is the focus.”