People We Can Count On
Aside from its pool of high-profile Goodwill Ambassadors, UNHCR has a wide range of supporters and collaborators around the world. Many of our offices team up with national or regional celebrities for prolonged campaigns or special events. Their help in raising awareness and rallying support for the refugee cause is invaluable.
Best-selling author and former refugee Khaled Hosseini has formed a special link with our office in the United States, which has seen him join World Refugee Day events and travel to his native Afghanistan and to Chad to raise awareness about refugees and returnees in recent years.
Popular actress Yao Chen is UNHCR's Honorary Patron for China. She has visited refugee camps in Thailand and Ethiopia and written on-line blogs for her millions of fans about the courage of those she met.
In the world of sport, Chicago Bulls basketball player Luol Deng has raised funds to provide access to education and sports for young refugees around the world. A former refugee from South Sudan who grew up in the United Kingdom, Deng is committed to ensuring that refugees retain the hope of a better future.
British supermodel Alek Wek supports life-changing UNHCR projects in education, agriculture and health in her native South Sudan. As a former refugee, she understands what it is like to be forced to flee one's home.
Award-winning Colombian rock star Juanes has helped spread awareness about the plight of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in his country, including members of indigenous groups.
For the most part, our supporters are ordinary citizens: volunteers who help arrange World Refugee Day activities; teachers who make use of UNHCR's educational material; academics who write on refugee issues; students who spread the word among their friends and do work placements with us; photographers who travel the world to put the focus on the displaced. We are also almost completely dependent on funding support from donor nations and individuals, organizations and corporations in the private sector.