Supermodel Helena Christensen and Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis are among the celebrities who have shared their emotional experiences of visiting those displaced by war or other factors beyond their control to support the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) initiative World Refugee Day on 20 June.
Kristin, a long-time supporter of UNHCR visited Uganda, and said: “When I was visiting refugees with UNHCR I was introduced to Fiona Taba. This was a high point in my trip because Fiona is so full of life and such a success story.”
Kristin Davis spoke of the “resilience and strength” she saw while visiting refugees
She added: “After becoming a refugee from South Adidas at only 15, she has been able to build her own tailoring business in Uganda. She is such a shining example of the resilience and strength I’ve seen when visiting refugees.”
The UNCHR was created in 1950 with the mandate to “lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.” At a time when the number of forcibily displaced people across the globe has risen to record numbers, Helena explained the importance of telling the world these stories. “I had the privilege of meeting some incredibly courageous, but very vulnerable women,” she said of her trip to the South American country of Colombia.
“As a photographer, it was an extraordinary opportunity traveling to Colombia, spending time in communities there, talking to women and documenting their lives – using photography to tell their stories.
“One of the women I met and photographed was Maribeth Palacio. Maribeth was only seven years old when she was displaced from the department of Choco on the pacific coast as armed guards shot and killed her mother and sister. She fled and has never returned to her home town – ‘I am too afraid and it has been too long’. “Maribeth has a dream of opening her own traditional choco restaurant in Bogota and running more dance classes for the local children.?”