Priyanka Chopra: We cannot let refugee children become a lost generation

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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra shared a heartfelt message on the World Refugees Day. Raising her voice to protect the rights of refugee children, the Quantico star showed her support for UNICEF on social media.

By: IANS | Mumbai | Published: June 21, 2018 4:13:45 pm

Actor Priyanka Chopra, who visited the Rohingya refugee camps earlier this year, says stories shared by refugee children were heartbreaking. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she hopes to protect their rights.

Priyanka has been actively involved with the UNICEF for the past twelve years. Her latest focus has been on Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees. The Quantico star has visited Bangladesh twice to see the Rohingyas living in the refugee camps at the Cox’s Bazar there. She has on various occasions shared her experience of the camp and also praised the Bangladeshi Prime Minister for taking in the refugees and helping them get a better future.

The actor, who is currently in the US, posted on social media a heartfelt message on the night of Wednesday, observed as World Refugees Day.

See Priyanka Chopra’s latest post on World Refugees Day:

She also shared a short video which features some of her moments with refugee children from Jordan and Bangladesh.

“Today is World Refugee Day and right now there are more than 65 million people around the world that have been forcibly displaced from their homes. I have met a few of these children in both Jordan and Bangladesh. Many told me stories of lost family members and friends. Many suffer without adequate food, shelter, health and education. All the stories are heartbreaking. On World Refugee Day, I am supporting UNICEF’s goal to protect the rights of refugee children. No matter where they come from, a child is a child and they deserve the right to childhood,” Priyanka wrote in an accompanying message with the video.

See more posts of Priyanka Chopra as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:

When Mansur Ali, 12 yrs old, first came to the Child Friendly Space (CFS) at the Balukhali camp, he was only drawing scenes of bloodshed and violence. Helicopters shooting at him and his friends playing soccer… or his village and home being on fire with burning bodies all around him.. Today, his drawings reflect a more hopeful story, one we would like all these children to have. Since the #Rohingya children have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, they have been living in overcrowded camps with no real place that to call their own. Imagine a space that lets you forget your troubles and be a child again… even if its only for just a few hours a day. For the Rohingya children, over 300,000, in the camps in Bangladesh this is the only space that allows them to be kids. These Child Friendly Spaces created by @unicef give kids access to art, music, dance, sport, and counselling etc. The space has often proved to be very therapeutic, helping these kids deal with the horrific situations they faced.. the @unicef aid workers work tirelessly to make sure these children find their spirit again. It doesn’t matter where a child is from or what his or her circumstances are… NO child deserves a life without hope for the future. The world needs to care. We need to care. Please lend your support at www.supportunicef.org #childrenuprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh

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I’m in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh today for a field visit with UNICEF, to one of the largest refugee camps in the world. In the second half of 2017, the world saw horrific images of ethnic cleansing from the Rakhine State of Myanmar(Burma). This violence drove nearly 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh – 60% are children! Many months later they are still highly vulnerable, living in overcrowded camps with no idea when or where they will ever belong…even worse, when they will get their next meal. AND…as they finally start to settle and feel a sense of safety, monsoon season looms…threatening to destroy all that they’ve built so far. This is an entire generation of children that have no future in sight. Through their smiles I could see the vacancy in their eyes. These children are at the forefront of this humanitarian crisis, and they desperately need our help. The world needs to care. We need to care. These kids are our future. Pls Lend your support at www.supportunicef.org #ChildrenUprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh Credit: @briansokol @hhhtravels

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This is little Shohida (8 months old), who stole my heart with her infectious smile. It’s a poignant reminder of the dichotomy of life…here she was getting all the help she needed, when just a few months before, her mother, Alada (who was only 19 years old at the time) walked for 15 days, while 6 months pregnant with her ,to get across the border. It shows us that there is hope left in this world. When you’re dealing with a mass exodus of thousands of people, who have been displaced from their homes and are desperate for refuge, the need for proper health and nutrition takes center stage…especially for women and children. On the various Unicef Field Visits I have taken, I am always surprised by the simple yet effective solutions that @unicef and their partners develop to deal with the most dire and pressing situations and issues. This is something I experienced again today during my visit to the Nutrition Centre at the Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar. More than 60,000 babies have been born in the camps over the past 8 months, so this center is an essential resource for new mothers to learn about proper feeding and nutrition. It all begins with the MUAC, a process where the child’s middle upper arm is measured to ascertain their nutrition level. From there, aids create a program for the child and a nutrient rich, ready-to-eat peanut paste is portioned out for each child based on the severity of malnutrition. At the Center mother’s are also taught basic hygiene and good health practices when they are in their homes. The world needs to care. We need to care. Please lend your support at www.supportunicef.org #childrenuprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh

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As I walk into the Women Friendly Space at the Jamtoli Camp, I am instantly struck by a certain calmness. These camps are loud & crowded, actually overcrowded, and so to find a quiet oasis, in this case a small hut with a tarp roof and thatched bamboo walls, is surprising. But for the girls in this camp, this is what they call their “house of peace.” It’s a place they can come and just be. A place to interact with friends, seek counselling, learn about hygiene, or learn life skills like art and music. There are approx 50 Women Friendly Spaces in the camps, just like this one, that on any given day see 50-70 Rohingya girls seeking these safe havens. The centers open at 9am, but there is seldom a day when the women aren’t lined up early, waiting for the doors to open. It is here that I met three 18 year old young women, in particular, who’s stories really shook me – their names have been omitted to protect their identities. They recounted lives of pain and suffering so horrifying…it’s difficult to fathom. One scarred with memories of houses in her village being burned – she and her parents traveled for two days to get here, passing hundreds of decapitated and dismembered bodies along the way. Another shared stories of young girls being pulled from their homes to be raped and tortured. They even tried to kill her and cut her with a knife, but she fought back. How did you manage to be so brave, I asked her…she replied, “If you’re born you will die, so I’m not scared of dying today.” In what world is it normal for an 18 year old girl to have this perspective on life?! The third young woman traveled for nearly two weeks on foot through the forest, where her youngest brother died along the way. There was lots of rape and torture back home she told me, and some women’s breasts were even cut off. While their lives are safer now, they are all still struggling. They know that with an education they can get a job and create better lives for their family, like buying protein for their meals, and clean drinking water. It’s literally as basic as that. Please help however you can, no donation is too small…go to www.supportunicef.org #childrenuprooted @unicef

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Priyanka recently fell into a controversy regarding her dialogue in her American TV show Quantico. She is currently alleged to be dating singer, Nick Jonas.

(The India News staff does not claim ownership of this content, source sited above)

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