UNITED NATIONS — Pop star Katy Perry said Tuesday that becoming a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. children’s agency has made her realize there’s more to happiness than material possessions and social status.

She said that on her first trip for UNICEF, to the impoverished Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar in April to see how the agency worked before agreeing to be a goodwill ambassador, she was moved by “the incredible joy” among the children despite the difficulties many faced.

“It changed my life,” Perry said. “It really kind of reprioritized my thinking, and my whole approach on life, and how to find my own joy and my own happiness that isn’t being from material possessions and social status.”

She said it also inspired her to write “Unconditionally,” her favorite song on her new album “Prism.”

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake officially appointed her a Goodwill Ambassador to focus especially on children and adolescents who are most vulnerable as a result of severe poverty, violence, abuse and neglect.

“We look forward to hearing her ‘roar’ on behalf of UNICEF,” Lake said.

Perry told The Associated Press that the Madagascar trip made her realize that young people outside the U.S. need help with education and other services that UNICEF provides.

“It’s nice to be able to pop the bubble that I live in and realize that the world has so many different things to offer and cultures,” she said.

She expects to make one trip a year for UNICEF.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.