London, Sept 22 : She may be the star of the glamorous teen soap 'The OC', but Mischa Barton knows how to put her fame to good use, and claims that her work for charity is a "calling".
The actress, who played the doomed belle Marissa Cooper in the popular TV series OC, is philanthropic by nature, and has been associated with several charity causes.
She recently visited a school in Soweto as part of her role as ambassador for 'Save the Children'.
And the actress concedes that the trip was "life-changing", and her work for the charity was a "calling".
"I went to see this little boy, Tembinkosi. He was so sweet and shy. He was only eight . . . He has no toys. He sleeps on the floor in a room full of dirt and he only gets one meal a day. It was terrible. But if I can raise money, that will make a difference," Times Online quoted her as saying.
When asked if stars use vulnerable children in Africa for a profile boost between film projects, she said: "Well, if cynical journalists think that, I think that's pretty jaded and sad. If someone takes the time to actually go, I don't think people sitting on their bums writing articles have the right to say anything, actually."
"I see so many celebrities who don't take the time to do anything, which is pretty terrible in its own way. What's the point of celebrity and all this stupid press we get? I think young people should be more active, vote, be more involved in charities," she said.
She added: "As a 22-year-old, I think the society we live in is pretty sad. And I'm not very proud of what's happened to my generation.
"I was at this party and someone wrote up on the wall, 'Nothing relevant has happened in my generation.' Well, that's not true - it's just the things that have happened, such as Iraq, you aren't very proud of. I think my generation is obsessed with things you can get quickly, a short attention span, a blog about anything, fame for 15 minutes. I don't care what people think about me. I just want to draw attention to the issue."
The 22-year-old has personally funded a 2,000-dollar irrigation system for Tembinkosi's school so that it can create a vegetable patch for the 800 children living there.
"Once you make money, you have a responsibility to people, and for someone like me - whose career has become very public and whom everybody is photographing and gossiping about anyway - it's nice to have something which you can draw attention to and for which you can use your fame," she said.