‘What They Took With Them’

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett was joined by actors Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Douglas Booth and Jesse Eisenberg, and writer Neil Gaiman, to perform a spoken word poem in support of the #WithRefugees campaign.
The film is based on a rhythmic poem entitled ‘What They Took With Them’ by Jenifer Toksvig. Jenifer was inspired by stories and first-hand testimonies from refugees forced to flee their homes and items they took with them.

Cate has said: “As soon as I read Jenifer Toksvig’s poem, and even more so after I took part in an early performance of it, I was struck by its immense power. The rhythm and words of the poem echo the frenzy and chaos and terror of suddenly being forced to leave your home, grabbing what little you can carry with you, and fleeing for safety.
Over 65 million people across the world have been forced to leave everything behind them – everything – and start their lives again from scratch. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, I believe the very least each of us can do is work together to ensure refugees have the basics with which to build back their lives – an education, somewhere safe to live, the ability to work. I hope this film will urge people to go to withrefugees.org and sign the petition.”
One of the sources for the poem was Brian Sokol’s photography project, ‘The Most Important Thing,’ made in collaboration with UNHCR. Many of Brian’s photos, along with firsthand accounts from the refugees he photographed, are featured in the film.
The film was exclusively released on the Facebook platform. You have been hacked
Please show your support and stand #WithRefugees. Sign the petition now.

Will you stand #WithRefugees?

Each day war forces thousands of families to flee their homes.
People like you, people like me.
To escape the violence, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency believes that all refugees deserve to live in safety.
Add your name to the #WithRefugees petition to send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility.
We stand together #WithRefugees. Please stand with us.

The #WithRefugees petition was delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, on September 19. The petition asks governments to:

  • Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
  • Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
  • Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

The campaign continues until a global compact for refugees is signed in 2018.

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