UNICEF EXCLUSIVE: Follow Mia Farrow on her trip to meet Syrian refugees in Lebanon…Today through 16 January
Blog Post #1 by Mia Farrow - 10 January, 2013
I am still at home in my old Connecticut farmhouse, passport and backpack ready for another journey. UNICEF has sent me information and some photos of families a world away: a dazed child with no shoes, standing in wind whipped puddles, tents crumpling under sleet and heavy rains, parents trying to keep tiny babies from freezing in bitter cold. Families who fled violence in Syria are now struggling to survive the worst winter storms in decades.
Tomorrow I leave for Lebanon, host to the largest number of Syria’s refugees – with almost 200,000 people. About half are children.
I will travel to Beirut then make my way along muddied mountain roads to the Bekaa valley where refugees have gathered. UNICEF and partners are on the ground doing their best to provide warm clothes, shoes, blankets, water, medicine and crucial supplies to the children and their families. Far too many have witnessed unspeakable horrors and they are deeply traumatized. You can follow my trip on this blog and see how you can help the children of Syria in these darkest days.
For more information about the humanitarian situation from the crisis in Syria, please visit www.unicef.org
News note: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow will visit Lebanon next week to meet refugees from the conflict in Syria. As part of her mission she will appeal for additional international assistance as the needs and numbers of those fleeing Syria continue to rise.
The visit of the internationally acclaimed actress to Lebanon comes just days after one of the region’s worst storms battered the country, bringing with it flooding and freezing temperatures, adding to the difficulties already faced by thousands of refugees. Most are living in make-shift shelters and tents or with host families who are often struggling themselves.
To date, over 600,000 people have fled the violence and insecurity in Syria for neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Lebanon is hosting the largest number, with almost 200,000 people registered or awaiting registration. About half of the refugees are children.
During her two-day visit, Ms. Farrow will travel to two locations close to the Syrian border, Wadi Khaled in the North and the Bekaa valley. She will speak with both the refugees and host families and visit UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces, where children who have witnessed the horrors of the conflict are provided with psycho-social support, including counseling. Ms. Farrow will also help distribute winter clothing while there as many of the refugees fled Syria with very few belongings.
Photo credit: © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0101/Olivier Asselin
Photo caption: On 22 February 2012, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow watches a music performance at a transit and orientation centre for children demobilized from armed groups, in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.