The Hitch star visited rape victims and women who have suffered sexual abuse in Africa last year (Oct11), and she was so moved by their stories, she came home determined to get more involved with the International Rescue Committee and do more to aid others in similar situations.
Discussing the trip, she tells People.com, “I knew I was in for a life-changing experience.
“This experience has profoundly affected me. I was so shocked and saddened to learn the extent of gender-based violence taking place in Sierra Leone every day and that trip has made me want to be a part of the solution.”
Mendes’ travels were filmed for Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a four-hour series which airs in the U.S. on Monday (01Oct12) and Tuesday night (02Oct12). The documentary also features segments with Meg Ryan, America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Olivia Wilde and Gabrielle Union.