About Yao Chen

In June 2013, actress Yao Chen was named a UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador – the first in China.  

Yao Chen has worked with UNHCR since 2010 when she visited urban refugees in and around the Philippines capital, Manila. She was deeply affected by the experiences of the Somali, Sudanese and Palestinian refugees she met – ordinary people forced to flee their homes by extraordinary circumstances.

In 2011, she travelled to Mae La camp in western Thailand, her first visit to a refugee camp. In 2012, she traveled to Buramino, Aw Barre and Sheder camps in Ethiopia where she talked with Somali refugees about their struggle to survive through multiple displacements, and their belief in education as the key to their future.

Yao Chen has shared these experiences, and subsequent field visits to Lebanon and Pakistan, through the media and Weibo. With a social media following of more than 48 million, she has brought a new understanding of refugee issues to the Chinese-speaking world.