Model and photographer Helena Christensen has supported UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency since 2015 and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in June 2019.
As well as being one of the world’s most recognisable faces, Helena has also carved out a respected and distinguished international career in photography. In her work with UNHCR, Helena uses her creativity to tell refugee stories, strengthen the voices and platforms of the forcibly displaced and advocate for their rights.
In January 2020, Helena Christensen visited Azraq camp in Jordan to meet with refugees from Syria, Iraq and Somalia. She tried on the dress of a Syrian tailor, who created the dress out of recycled materials and painted it with symbolic images to tell the story of Amman.
Helena's engagement over the years
Helena travelled with UNHCR to Rwanda in October 2018, meeting refugees who recently fled violence and persecution in Burundi. Through widespread photography and written features, she supported UNHCR’s call for vital funds to deliver shelter, food and basic necessities for one of the world's most forgotten and underfunded refugee crises.
In March 2017 Helena travelled with UNHCR to Ukraine to capture some of the stories of the near one million people internally displaced by conflict in the east of the country, over 500, 000 of whom are vulnerable and elderly. Here Helena met Oleg, a true superhero who risks his life to help those forced to flee as a result of the conflict. Helena shared her reflections on the visit in the international media and through social media.
Ahead of World Refugee Day 2015, Helena travelled with us to Colombia to document internally displaced women living in rural and urban environments, including the slums on the outskirts of Bogota. Helena said: “I wanted to use my skills to create a platform for these women’s stories which are both shocking and inspiring".