SEATTLE — Orlando Bloom visited Boko Haram victims in February in an attempt to shine a light on the massive population displacement issue and lack of human necessities these people are currently facing. Bloom, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, exposed the desperation and suffering these people face every day.
Across Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, 2.3 million people are displaced, making this one of the fastest-growing displacement crises in Africa. The Diffa region is currently hosting refugees, returnees and children who have nowhere else to go.
During his trip to Garin Wazam camp, Bloom visited Boko Haram victims including Amada Goni, a 14-year-old boy impacted by the violence. Goni told Bloom that some of his friends joined Boko Haram willingly. Others did not, leading him to have such bad nightmares that he goes to UNICEF-supported psychological support every day.
“When I go there to play, I feel good, I feel relieved, I feel much better. It helps with the nightmares,” he told Bloom.
Bloom explained that the suffering children are facing daily are ways no child should ever suffer. “The devastating stories I heard from children in Niger will haunt me for a long time to come,” Bloom said. “This is not something any child should experience.”
These children have lost their education, their homes and their families. They have been exposed to violence and abuse. Their lives have completely transformed and they face dangerous circumstances every day. These children desperately need the violence to end.
“This visit has been extremely moving. Every single child I met is affected by this conflict and in desperate need of basic services such as clean water, psychological care, and education to help them recover from the atrocities they have suffered and witnessed. They deserve a childhood,” Blooms.
Bloom and UNICEF have been working incredibly hard to support these desperate children. UNICEF has been providing vaccines, safe water, education, support and other basic human necessities, but the lack of funding and inability to provide the proper security have weakened the necessary assistance to these desperate children.
– Mary Waller