SEATTLE — Legendary English Actress Vanessa Redgrave is best known for her roles in Mission Impossible, Julia, Atonement, Deep Impact and Letters to Juliet. She appeared in over 80 films and not only won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1977 for her role in Julia, but she also received the Tony Award for Best Actress in 2003 for her theatre role in Eugene O’Neilli’s Long Day’s Journey into the Night. When Redgrave isn’t acting, she’s working with UNICEF and supporting the organization’s advocacy for helping children all over the world as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Redgrave’s continuous philanthropy with UNICEF is why she’s known as a passionate humanitarian and activist.
Redgrave’s Humanitarian Work with UNICEF Throughout the Years
UNICEF is an agency working in 190 countries and striving to provide humanitarian aid to every child around the world. They believe in promoting rights and the well-being of children, desiring to reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged population in need of assistance.
Redgrave has dedicated her time to UNICEF and the needs of children in various countries. According to UNICEF, she has worked in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Kosovo, Albania and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Redgrave’s continuous philanthropy with UNICEF appointed her as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1995. Her advocacy for children and overall global peace was apparent when she raised funds for children of Iraq in 1991, and organized events at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She then went to Iraq with UNICEF after her funding efforts and spent five days with the people during the Gulf War.
Wake Up World
In 2006, in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of UNICEF, Redgrave as well as her son, Carlo Nero, produced a film called “Wake Up World,” which essentially documents and illustrates the history of UNICEF and their progress. This film was from Redgrave’s own personal view as not only a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador but also as someone who lived through World War Ⅱ.
Redgrave was just a child during World War Ⅱ, and despite the fact that she didn’t fully experience what these children have gone through in Europe and Asia, Redgrave said that she would be called today a “displaced person” and took “refuge in basements, cellars and underground shelters from the bombing.”
Traveling With an Open Heart
In 2009, Redgrave hosted and presented a special benefit performance of “The Year of Magical Thinking” in New York for the purpose of raising funds for UNICEF and even the UNRWA or the United Nations Relief Works Agency. Both of these organizations have been aiding Palestinian refugees, and this event will work to help children in Gaza and southern Israel following the violence that destroyed communities and many lives.
In September 2018, Redgrave met and visited Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese children in Lebanon with UNICEF staff and supporters. She supported projects in Bednayel by the NGO Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST) and visited Housh al Rafiqa informal settlement where she met with Syrian refugee families and listened to their challenges.
Continuous Philanthropy with UNICEF
Redgrave also went to the Shatila Palestinian camp where she spent time with children, teachers and staff and met with many young people in programs to help with their development and education. She strives to help these children achieve access to free education and understand why jobs and opportunities can support themselves and their families.
Redgrave’s continuous philanthropy with UNICEF makes her not only a successful actress but also a passionate activist wishing to see the end of suffering and poverty in children. Her support and assistance in these countries highlight why it’s important for the community, as well as other organizations or agencies, to continue their work with aiding the poor. Redgrave’s continuous philanthropy with UNICEF brings hope for the children as well as the future.
– Charlene Frett