Atom Araullo was appointed as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in February 2019. He is one of the best known faces in broadcast journalism in the Philippines and has risen to prominence following his extensive coverage of forced displacement in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall.
Atom began his journey as a UNHCR Philippines’ High Profile Supporter and advocate in June 2017. Earlier that year fighting broke out in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, forcing 353,000 persons to flee to neighboring localities. In two field missions, Atom joined UNHCR’s protection monitoring activities in various evacuation centers surrounding the city.
Following his visits, Atom made a call for help on behalf of families struggling to rebuild their lives. His visits also highlighted the humanitarian work of UNHCR to address urgent protection concerns of Marawi’s displaced.
On his first documentary for I-Witness, Atom drew attention to the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh and to the harrowing conditions that continue to pose challenges as they live in exile. His work catalyzed awareness of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the fastest growing refugee crisis today.
In July 2018, Atom travelled to Jordan, which is among the countries that host the highest number of Syrian refugees. His mission enabled him to learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis, as well as UNHCR’s operations that provide life-saving assistance, protection, and durable solutions to families who have taken refuge in the country. He also visited Azraq Refugee Camp, the second largest refugee camp for displaced Syrians.
In April 2019 Atom kick started the 2 billion kilometres to safety campaign which challenged participants across the globe to cover 2 billion kilometres, just as refugees do each year to reach the point of safety. He hiked Mount Nagpatong with other digital influencers in the Philippines to raise awareness for the campaign.
Atom returned to Cox's Bazaar camp in Bangladesh in August 2019 to highlight the pressing needs of the 900,000 refugees living there. Atom was able to see some of the activities supported by UNHCR to address the emerging challenges and needs of the refugees including education, monsoon response and water sanitation projects.
Atom is an avid supporter of UNHCR on social media and uses his platform to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and the work of UNHCR.
Recent support and field visits