Eva Mendes' visit to Sierra Leone was ''life changing''.

The 38-year-old actress recently travelled to the African country and met with Amie Kandeh, a survivor of gender-based violence working with the International Rescue Committee to help other victims achieve secure futures, and though she was happy to take part in the visit, she wasn't prepared for how much it would ''profoundly affect'' her.

She said: ''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.''

Eva visited Sierra Leone as part of the 'Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide' series, which is based on a best-selling book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Other stars featured on the show include America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Meg Ryan and Olivia Wilde, who were introduced to women living in difficult circumstances, ranging from prostitution maternal death.