Miss Universe Philippines Celeste Cortesi is not only captivating the hearts of audiences, critics, and pageant enthusiasts around the world but is on mission to create a lasting change in the world – the universe rather. Behind the beauty of Celeste Rabimbi Cortesi and her bid to win the Philippines’ fifth Miss Universe crown is a purpose: to be a transformational advocate who can effectively raise the issues of women and children most impacted by inequality and discrimination in the Philippines, and help fulfil the attainment of their rights. Cortesi led the launch of Save the Children Philippines’ Life Changer Community Sponsorship Program in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The program is a community-wide approach that aims to uplift the quality of lives of 15,000 people, including 3,000 children, and families to address the needs on food, health and nutrition, education, hygiene and sanitation, protection, and livelihoods unique to the area.
“It opened my eyes to the realities children here in Mindanao are experiencing. Children are not only suffering from hunger but from various complex problems – as basic as access to clean water. And it is only by realizing that everything is interconnected that we are reminded of how our actions can make a big impact,” Cortesi said.
Cortesi’s soft spot is addressing the hunger crisis among children. In her various media stints during the Miss Universe competition, she has talked about her conversations with mothers in Mindanao whose children suffer from hunger and malnutrition. “It breaks my heart when the mothers I talk to grapple for words when asked about what to say to their children if they do not have anything to feed them.”
In 2021, about 2.9 million Filipino children were deemed hungry and malnourished according to a study. Hunger continues to be a child rights’ crisis that impacts the ideal growth and development of the Filipino children.
Celeste is counting on her fellow Filipinos to rally her advocacy in the Miss Universe competition so we, as a nation, can transform the lives of women and children, and the future we share.
Vote for Celeste Cortesi! Online voting is now open. Miss Universe 2022 Coronation Night is live from New Orleans on 15 January 2023 at 9AM (Philippine Time).