Top actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson wrapped up a two-day visit to Jordan this week, along with his eldest son Micheal.
They met with Syrian children, young people and their families whose lives have been greatly affected by the conflict – now close to its sixth year.
“Every person has a story of loss and of witnessing horrific violence that no one – least of all a child – should ever have to see,” said Neeson after visiting the Za’atari refugee camp near the Syrian border on Monday. “I truly admire the strength and spark of the children I met, the girls in particular.”
The award winning actor visited Za’atari refugee camp, meeting girls and boys at a UNICEF-supported school and a Makani (My space in Arabic) centre that provides learning and psychosocial support services to children and youth.
With a population of around 80,000, Za’atari is the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world.
UNICEF and partners are providing life-saving support through vaccinations, medicines, clean water, sanitation, and opportunities for children and youth to get an education and learn skills for their future.
Since the conflict in Syria erupted more than five years ago, over 8.5 million children have been severely affected. The future for these children inside Syria and those living as refugees in neighboring countries hangs in the balance as violence, the collapse of health and education services, severe psychological distress and the worsening economic impact on families can have a devastating effect on a whole generation.
In host countries throughout the region, 2.4 million Syrian children are now living as refugees. Host communities are often overwhelmed and there is limited access to clean water, nutrition or learning opportunities.
UNICEF has been calling for an end to the cycle of violence in Syria along with further steps to keep children impacted by the conflict safe and to provide them with inner healing through psychological care along with better access to education.
Neeson, a long-time UNICEF supporter and a Goodwill Ambassador since 2011, has appeared in over 70 films, including the blockbuster Taken trilogy; Joe Carnahan’s The Grey; Bille
August’s Les Misérables; George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace; Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins; Richard Curtis’ Love Actually; and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
Neeson received an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and BAFTA Award nominations for his performance as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Best Picture Oscar winner Schindler’s List.
Photo courtesy: UNICEF
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