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Actress Dascha Polanco is on a mission to help the people of Haiti. The Orange is the New Black star and newly-named United Nations global ambassador, traveled to the Island country earlier this month on what became a life-changing journey.

On April 6, Polanco was among the global ambassadors invited by Former NFL player and philanthropist Jack Brewer, to speak at the U.N. for International Sports Day. The 33-year-old attended in representation of  Latinos, as well as the NFL ’s Women’s Apparel Campaign. She spoke on the impact that sports has had on her life.

A day later, Polanco joined the Jack Brewer Foundation and several NFL players for the trip to Haiti. Their trip included visiting an orphanage of children whose parents died in the 2012 earthquake, and Cite Soliel, which is known as one of the most poverty stricken areas of Haiti.

Polanco also stopped into Haiti’s U.S. Embassy and the Olympics center, where she gave out more than 5,000 items provided by Haddad Brands, a children’s wear company that manufactures and distributes Nike, Jordan, Hurley, and more.

“The experience was an eye opener of how we complain in the U.S. of the small things and those small things are the world to them,” Polanco said in a statement. “Just seeing babies with or without families with no clothing, food, clean water or shoes, but with a huge smile and courage is inspiring to me. I am going to focus on working harder to help my people from Haiti that involve women issues, children, the country’s waste and border issues with Dominican Republic.  The people from Ayiti (Haiti) have taught me to smile again and it’s my mission to help them, and others in need.”

The children seemed to have had the largest effect on Polanco during the trip. According to Brewer, it was inspiring to watch her interact with the youngsters. “At one point, I honestly thought she was going to try to adopt a child,” Brewer said of the mother of two. “Dascha’s passion to help those in extreme poverty should be a shining of example for female influencers around the world.”

Hit the gallery for photos.

Photos: Dynamic Theories

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