Salma Hayek opened up about her heartbreaking trip to Sierra Leone while accepting a UNICEF leadership award

We all know (and love) Beatriz at Dinner actress Salma Hayek, but this definitely takes the cake. The actress, producer, and activist received the Danny Kaye Leadership Award at the 7th Biennial UNICEF Ball on Saturday, April 14th. And the during the event, she opened up about a past humanitarian trip to Sierra Leone in a way that is totally inspiring.

Hayek took the trip with children’s relief organization UNICEF to the West African country, where she ended up breastfeeding another woman’s child, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"This 15-year-old girl is sobbing and shaking with a newborn baby and she said, 'Please help me. I need milk,'" Hayek said in her award acceptance speech. "We had so many things but we didn't have milk, except I remembered that I had milk because I was weaning my daughter. I just weaned my daughter not too long ago and I said, 'I got milk.' … I sat down and I breastfed this baby."

Someone captured a photo of that moment in Sierra Leone, which Hayek’s publicist asked not to be released at the time. “They could’ve milked that milking moment,” Hayek joked. “But they [UNICEF] were super elegant and never said anything.”

She allowed the story to go public three years later as part of a feature on breastfeeding in Africa.

Watch Salma Hayek tell the amazing story about her trip to Sierra Leone below:

Hayek’s speech didn’t stop there. She also spoke about administering tetanus shots to children during that same trip. Heartbreakingly, she recalled having a newborn baby die in her arms from the disease.

"It's nothing for anyone in this room. It's one little piece of medication," Hayek said. "How many medications we don't need that we spend so much money on our neuroses? These are actually cheap, guys. Every time … I think this could have saved that baby."

Ever since that trip, Hayek has partnered with UNICEF to help eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus in 44 different countries. UNICEF CEO and President Caryl M. Stern told The Hollywood Reporter that Hayek is also involved with the organization’s educational efforts in Lebanon, its earthquake response in Mexico, and more.

“She’s a remarkable woman,” Stern said.

We couldn’t agree more. From speaking out against Harvey Weinstein to inspiring us to make activism part of our lives, we’re thankful to Salma Hayek for setting an example we can all follow. Together, we can all make this world a better place.

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