British Hollywood actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw began working as a High Profile Supporter for UNHCR in 2018. Gugu has visited Rwanda and Uganda with UNHCR, and consistently supports UNHCR campaigns on her social channels. Gugu is particularly interested in refugee women’s issues, and has been a big supporter of MADE51, a programme that empowers refugee artisans by helping them to sell their products globally.
Gugu took part in the EveryOneCounts campaign in 2019, appearing alongside other UNHCR High Profile Supporters and Goodwill Ambassadors in a powerful multi-voice video to challenge xenophobia. More recently in 2020, Gugu contributed to our widely shared COVID-19 awareness apeal on her social media channels.
Gugu’s recent notable roles include Belle, Beyond the Lights, Black Mirror, The Morning Show, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017) alongside Emma Watson, and Misbehaviour (2020) alongside Keira Knightley.
Gugu travelled to Rwanda in August 2018. She visited Mahama camp, which hosts over 57,000 Burundian refugees, and Gihembe, a Congolese refugee camp. Her trip involved meeting with women’s livelihood projects, as well as urban refugees in Kigali. Gugu’s visit highlighted two of the least funded refugee crises in the world, in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and also shined a spotlight on the innovative work of MADE51.
During Gugu’s trip to Uganda in April 2019, she visited Nakivale refugee settlement and met with refugees who had been victims of sexual violence. Gugu has written about her experience with UNHCR in outlets such as Refinery29 and Vogue.