Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova yesterday (14FEB07) became the latest celebrity to be appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The world number one agreed to use her charisma and fame to gather support for the fight against global poverty.
She also donated $100,000 (GBP51,500) to help improve the public service sector in the parts of the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia most badly affected by the world's worst nuclear accident, the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
She says, "My first step is to focus on the Chernobyl-affected region, where my family has roots.
"Today, it is poverty and lack of opportunities that pose the greatest threat for young people in the Chernobyl region."
Sharapova joins actor Danny Glover and soccer players ZINEDINE ZIDANE and RONALDO, who are already working for the development fund.