NEW YORK, New York — American performer Mia Farrow still to this day has a knack for being a versatile character actress in numerous films, such as the titular character in Rosemary’s Baby, Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah and Her Sisters. She was also the first American actress to be admitted into the Royal Shakespeare Company. On a similar note, Farrow has not shied away from activism for these past few decades, particularly within the continent of Africa. These range from work for UNICEF, for which she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador, to Refugees International.
Giving Aid to Women and Children
The primary focus of Mia Farrow’s UNICEF visits to Africa seems to be giving aid to women and children in African countries who currently are or have been victims of violence. Her most recent visit was to Chad, in 2019, where she promoted the International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s approach to preventing acute, moderate, to severe malnutrition in children.
She has spent the majority of her time in the Mangalme Region of the landlocked country, where approximately 350,000 young people are experiencing malnutrition. Solutions have included raising awareness about “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” programs, which have currently reached 315,000 of those people thus far and “Support by Food Security and Livelihoods” programs, which have reached approximately 806,000.
Farrow is one of the many high-profile people who have helped promote some solutions that both UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have collaboratively sanctioned, most predominantly Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). This process consists of providing a fortified treatment which is a mixture of peanut butter, flour, powdered milk, vitamins and minerals. It has become evident with time that solutions that boil down to “fattening the bellies” are preferable to visits to the hospitals.
Visiting the Central African Republic
In 2013, Farrow received some negative press for her Central African Republic visit. According to the Associated Press, she called the country’s government “useless” and boldly described the nation itself to be in a “state of genocide.”
In response, she maintained that the presence of “extremist groups” was inevitable, as they had previously banded together to overthrow the president and replace him with their own elected official. Nevertheless, this remains one of the most noteworthy of Mia Farrow’s UNICEF visits to Africa because she managed to meet with villagers in small ghost towns on the pathway to Bossangoa, particularly the Bouba family who literally lived in a cramped corner in the Liberte Schoolhouse. She responded to this by helping UNICEF appeal for an extra $3 million to give aid consisting of basic survival supplies for displaced citizens.
Though one human being can obviously only do so much to help epidemics that are on such a gargantuan scale, Mia Farrow is an example of a person who does not let large droves of citizens’ food insecurity and refugee or displaced person status deter her from trying to make a difference in the lives of those who are not at an equivocated status of wealth and privilege to her own.
– Robin Kalellis