UNHCR works with nearly 100 Goodwill Ambassadors and High Profile Supporters to increase public awareness on refugees, IDPs and stateless people as well as on UNHCR’s work in protecting their rights. Celebrities working with UNHCR help to positively influence government policy on behalf of forcibly displaced people, to publicise refugees’ issues around the globe and to raise funds for UNHCR supported programmes. Among them are Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Ben Stiller, Barbara Hendrics, and many more.
In Ukraine, UNHCR works closely with singers Alina Pash and Gaytana, band Mad Heads, designer Liliya Lytkovskaya and journalists Oleksiy Matsuka and Maksym Butkevych.
On 19 June 2020, famous Ukrainian singer Gaytana and UNHCR released a music video for World Refugee Day. Annually celebrated on 20 June, World Refugee Day draws attention to the problems of people who have lost their homes due to conflict and persecution.
The song “A Paper Plane” calls for the need to feel supported and to have a home. It reminds us that those who have lost their home too often feel in danger and live in fear. The song inspires them not to lose hope and to strive for their goals. Gaytana sang together with children from the band Zabava, Adel Nazarchuk and other talented children. Refugee children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, whose families found protection in Ukraine, took part in the creation of the music video. The author of the original English song is musician Aryan King.
Ukrainian singer Alina Pash supported the #IBelong Global Campaign to eradicate statelessness. She called to protect people most at risk of statelessness in Ukraine. She was a special guest during the opening of the photo exhibition “Photo on the Passport”, dedicated to the 5th Anniversary of the #IBelong campaign in the Museum of Kyiv in 2019.
“Everyone has the right to a nationality. Unfortunately, many people cannot exercise this right. I come from the Transcarpathian region and know that there is a problem of statelessness affecting many people, and mostly the Roma minority. In the Transcarpathian region, the Roma community is the 5th largest minority with a population of about 80,000. About 10% of them do not have passports nor birth certificates. These people often are in complicated situations and are virtually “invisible” to society and the State.” – said Alina Pash.
UNHCR High Profile Supporter Helena Christensen travelled with UNHCR to Ukraine in March 2017 to meet elders displaced by the recent conflict in Eastern Ukraine. With her camera, she captured some of the stories of the near one million IDPs, over 500,000 of whom are vulnerable people and elders. During her trip, Helena met Oleg, a true hero who risked his life to help those forced to flee because of the conflict. Helena shared her reflections on the visit in international media and throughout social media. The gallery above includes some of Helena’s portraits of the individuals she met during her visit.
Vadym Krasnookiy, the frontman of the rock band Mad Heads joined the creation of a social video together with refugee and children, singing the song “Nadiya Ye” (There is a Hope) together. The video was recorded in 2015 on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day and the Independence Day of Ukraine.
On 7 March 2020, Liliya Litkovskaya, designer and Litkovskaya brand owner, met with women refugees who work in or study fashion. Liliya was glad to share with them how she created her brand and gave them advice on how to become a successful woman. “All these people have their own dreams, wishes, opportunities and, most importantly, a profession. First of all, you should believe in what you are doing and you should do it with great love”.