Actress Kat Graham may well be best known for her role as the feisty witch 'Bonnie Bennet' in the hit TV series The Vampire Diaries, but outside of work she's a true humanitarian angel.
Graham, who is the celebrity spokesperson for the UNHCR: The UN Refugee Agency, recently visited the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, where she hoped to raise awareness about the growing refugee crisis in Syria.
Here's what she told Virgin Unite shortly after she returned,
“Both of my parents were refugees at one point; I’m half Liberian and half Israeli, so there’s been a lot of historical turmoil in my family,”
“I have met so many Liberian refugee children, and interacted with many displaced older generations — my Grandma, for example, was in the holocaust. When I think of a refugee, I don’t see it as anything separate from myself. I look at these children, and think, it could have been me. I therefore feel passionate about my involvement with UNHCR — human rights and anti-discrimination mean a lot to me.”
Kat is well aware of important she can be to raising awareness amongst the viewers of shows like The Vampire Diaries. She said she is,
“bringing awareness in a different way, and to a different audience. My audience is generally younger than some of the people that work with UNHCR — like Angelina Jolie for example — so I want to bring awareness and connectivity to the youth community.”
In 2012 alone, an estimated 7.6 million people were forced to flee their homes (an average of 23,000 people every day) following the crisis in Syria. Of that number, 1.1 million became refugees in other countries, mostly developing ones.
Bless you, Kat. This work is so commendable.
If you'd like to know more about Kat's role, or if you'd like to get involved, information can be found at the UNHCR website.