UNHCR is an organization that provides emergency assistance and protects and supports millions of people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes.
Ben Stiller was recently named one of the organization's Goodwill Ambassadors; these people are "some of the most recognizable public faces of UNHCR. They help to bring [the] organization to every corner of the world through their influence, dedication and hard work."
He traveled to Guatemala City and wrote an essay about his experience:
- It was easy for him to travel there from NYC, but for refugees there it feels impossible to travel to America, or to reach security.
- Connected with the refugees as fellow human beings was natural: "We laughed, ate and talked about raising children and the love of our families."
- Refugees "live in a world that shows them little goodwill. What they need more than anything is to be given a voice. To be supported and heard — especially the refugees from this region of the world."
- Many refugees worldwide are fleeing war, but across Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, the threat is powerful gangs. Over half of refugees from these countries are children who have been subject to abuse, sexual trafficking, and forced recruitment by gangs; parents are often killed when attempting to protect their children from it.
- Central American refugees are a silent crisis because there is a lot of fear around telling one's story, violence is so normal that it goes unreported, and there's no named war or terrorist group to point to as a threat.
- He also visited a UNHCR center for unaccompanied refugee children, ranging in age from 3-17, who greeted him warming despite their trauma.
Read more here.
Source, 2, 3