Press Releases, 17 June 2013
Stars photographed with the most important thing they would take if they were forced to flee their homes
More than 25 international celebrities including Paula Abdul, actor David Tennant, acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman, Vampire Diaries' star Kat Graham, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, supermodel and former refugee, Alek Wek have joined the UN Refugee Agency's (UNHCR) World Refugee Day '1 family' campaign to expose the devastating impact of war on families.
See their photo series at: http://pinterest.com/refugees/the-most-important-thing-celebrities/
The campaign aims to expose the devastating impact of war on families and mobilise public support and solidarity for those affected, including refugees from the Syria crisis.
"Somewhere, right now, a family is being torn apart by war, children are being separated from their parents, lives and homes are being destroyed. One family torn apart by war is too many" said Kat Graham, star of Vampire Diaries.
When families are forced to flee their homes they may have only a minute to escape. On World Refugee Day, UNHCR is asking the public to step into the shoes of a refugee – if only for a moment – by contemplating what they would take if faced with this life-changing decision.
Anyone can upload a photo of themselves with their chosen object, or tweet about it through the World Refugee Day website http://www.unhcr.org/1family/. The photos of celebrities, the public and refugees alike are posted on a campaign Pinterest board that is both massive – and moving.
Amongst the celebrities supporting the campaign, a number are former refugees themselves – as is the case for best-selling author Khaled Hosseini, who added this caption to his photo, "My family and I left Afghanistan in 1976 and we were never able to go back because of the war. This watch was given to me by my father when I was 13 and it's my most prized possession because it represents the oldest surviving relic of my childhood".
Other celebrities supporting UNHCR this World Refugee Day through filmed messages, field missions and social media activity include country rock superstars Lady Antebellum, acclaimed writer Henning Mankell, writer, presenter, comedian Stephen Fry, Olympic athlete and former refugee from South Sudan, Guor Marial.
- Media interested in hosting the celebrity photo series, a mixture of all the Pinterest images, or Brian Sokol's photos can contact:
Stephen Pattison, Public Relations Officer: Pattison@unhcr.org
Suzy Hopper, Photo Editor: Hopper@unhcr.org
- Question relating to celebrity supporters can contact:
Alison Tilbe, Manager, Global Goodwill Ambassador programme: Tilbe@unhcr.org
- For information on the World Refugee Day Campaign and Call to Action please contact:
Leigh Foster, Chief, Strategic Communications: Foster@unhcr.org
- On Twitter follow the hashtag #1family and UNHCR @refugees
The Pinterest Photo Project:
The Pinterest photo project was inspired by a UNHCR commissioned photo project called The Most Important Thing conceived by acclaimed photographer Brian Sokol . It is part of UNHCR's global campaign to engage the public to think about the heart-wrenching decisions families are forced to make when they flee their homes because of war.
List of Celebrities who have given photos to support the campaign:
Alek Wek, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, former refugee, supermodel
Barbara Hendricks, UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador, classical singer
George Dalaras, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, singer
Khaled Hosseini, UNHCR Honorary Patron, author
Osvaldo Laport, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, actor
Aldemar Torres, Venezuelan musician
Alex Braga, Italian blogger, musician, radio and TV anchorman
Aly Khan Satchu, Kenyan economist
Candice Accola, American actress, star of The Vampire Diaries
Cesar Lopez, Colombian singer/songwriter
Chantal Kreviatzuk, Canadian singer
Daniel Angel Paz Rio, Venezuelan artist
David Tennant, Scottish actor
Diamond White, American singer (former X Factor contestant)
Dimitris Piatas, Greek actor
Erri de Luca, Italian poet/novelist
Gogo Brebou, Greek actress
Ian Somerholder, American actor, star of The Vampire Diaries
Jenna Ushkowitz, American actress, star of The Vampire Diaries
Julian Orrego, Columbian actor and musician
Kat Graham, American actress, star of Vampire Diaries
Kristen Vangsness, American actress
Leo Vanegas, Colombian scriptwriter
Leonardo Ocando, Venezuelan singer
Matt Davis, American actor, star of The Vampire Diaries
Maher Zain, Lebanese/Swedish singer
Maia Von Lekow, Kenyan musician/songwriter
Maurice Kirya, Ugandan musician
Michael Trevino, American actor, star of The Vampire Diaries
Mohamed Abduba Dida, Kenyan politician
Neil Gaiman, British author
Nicole Grimaudo, Italian actress
Niki Kartsona, Director of http://www.queen.gr
Noura Al Nouman, Author Sharjah, UAE
Paula Abdul, American singer
Paola Tamayo, Venezuelan dancer
Rokia Traore, Malian singer
Romola Garai, British Actress
Sebastian Yepes, Colombian singer
Sotiris Danezi, Greek journalist/film maker
Steve 'Urban' Chege, Kenyan musician
Stefan Keyes, Canadian news reporter
Thomasina Miers, British chef/restaurateur