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Friday, 11 June, 1999, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Geri starts UN work
geri halliwell
Geri Halliwell: Signed up with the UN last year
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell starts work as a United Nations goodwill ambassador on Monday - with a trip to the Philippines.

The 26-year-old singer was appointed as a representative of the UN's Population Fund last year, and her first fact-finding trip will see her talk to staff and clients, especially teenagers and young mothers, at a family planning clinic.

She will also meet members of a women's group which provides basic health checks for women living in slum areas, visit a college in Manila and take part in a discussion group with students on sexual health issues.

Halliwell said: "I'm really looking forward to my first field trip as UN Population Fund goodwill ambassador.

"What's important about this trip is that it gives me the chance to meet the people who really matter - women who want to control their fertility and young people who are on the brink of making important decisions about their sexual future."

Throwing herself into charity work

The clinic is run by the charity Marie Stopes International, whose director of information, Patricia Hindmarsh, said: "We are delighted that Geri Halliwell will be visiting one of our clinics and seeing some of the fantastic work we do.

"We hope that the experience Geri gains during her trip will help her influence governments and donors of the need for quality reproductive health services in the Philippines and everywhere."

Since leaving the Spice Girls, Halliwell has thrown herself into charity work. She helped lead a breast cancer awareness campaign last year, and has said she decided to quit the group because she wasn't able to campaign on the issue. She went through a breast cancer scare when she was 18.

She has also teamed up with cabinet minister Clare Short to back an initiative to cut the numbers of women who die during pregnancy.

Halliwell has just released her debut solo album Schizophonic, which is due to enter the UK charts on Sunday.

However, it is unlikely to reach number one because of the huge sales of Boyzone's greatest hits collection, By Request.

See also:

21 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Ginger Spice welcomes diplomatic role
11 Jun 99 | Teen pregnancy
Teenage pregnancies: the picture worldwide
26 Nov 98 | UK Politics
Geri stays mum in campaign
05 May 99 | Entertainment
Geri tells all on TV
09 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Geri set for second place - again
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