Forced to Flee


June 12, 2014

Across the world, war and violence have forced millions of families to flee their homes, leave their belongings and travel without food, water, or shelter in search of safety. Next week, World Refugee Day honors refugees—moms, dads, boys and girls—for their courage and strength.

One family left without food or shelter is too many

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing shelter and aid to millions of refugee families across the globe, serving about 34 million refugees in more than 125 different countries. Some of the areas they work to provide safety for refugees are in Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Kenya. However, the largest refugee camp with more than half a million people is the Dadaab Camp in Kenya, which was created about 20 years ago for refugees fleeing the Somalian civil war.


Actress & Oxfam Ambassador Kristin Davis visited the Dadaab Refugee camp with UNHCR, and shares her story of meeting Haiwa. Despite not being able to walk, Haiwa survived her escape from Somalia with three of her five children. Because of her polio, Haiwa’s community pulled her in a cart to the camp. Two of her children didn’t make it and her husband was killed before they left. When Davis met her, she was seated in the dust with her three young surviving children, but still strong and filled with dignity.

Watch the story of this strong and courageous mom, who persevered and fought against great difficulties.

Kristin Davis“It really goes to show what good can be done in an emergency situation. It was moving to be able to see that and to see that the aid really works…They absolutely would not have made it, if it weren’t for that camp and being able to get the aid from all of the organizations who were there. I was really inspired by being there.” – Kristin Davis, Actress & Oxfam Ambassador

Just today, the headlines are filled with yet another growing refugee crisis as frightened Iraqis flee the city of Mosul. Only those with family and invitations from friends are being accepted into Kurdistan, so UNHCR is working with the Kurdish government to provide basic services for those unable to enter.

Take Action Challenge

Join us in the lead up to World Refugee Day and honor refugees worldwide by sharing their stories. Click here to be inspired by Haiwa and the courage of so many others.



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