HOLLYWOOD, California – With over 34 credits to his name, English actor Orlando Bloom has entered a level of recognition enviable by most of his peers. From an immortal pirate to a quick-witted elf and everything in-between, Bloom has brought a vast array of characters to life during his career. Recently, he made his debut as the title character in the Broadway rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Earlier this year, he played a psychologically scarred police officer in South Africa’s Cape Town in Zulu. Bloom’s natural ability to shift roles then leads one to wonder, why not play a relief worker?
Off screen, Bloom possesses a relief worker’s dream resume. In 2007, he was invited to visit water sanitation programs sponsored by UNICEF in western Nepal. The international star spent four days in the impoverished regions of Kaski and Chitwan discussing improvements in maternal health and education. Orlando visited children rehabilitation centers in Moscow in November 2008 and voiced his amazement with the impact the UNICEF-sponsored center has had in the lives of poverty-stricken youth in the community. During a break filming Zulu in 2012, the actor ventured to Cape Town in order to observe programs designed to assist at-risk youth in the area.
The potential impact of Bloom’s interest in global poverty and its effects is astonishing. His most recognized films include the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean trilogies which grossed over $5.5 billion in ticket sales worldwide. Social media sites reveal a wide reaching and devoted fan base. There are at least five Twitter accounts devoted to Mr. Bloom with over 60,000 reported followers. Facebook contains over 30 profiles celebrating the actor with over 700,000 fans, and numerous fan sites crowd the web, detailing the actor’s daily life and involvements.
Named a Goodwill Ambassador in 2009, Bloom has continuously voiced support for UNICEF and its programs. He argues that the struggles faced by those in poverty-ridden areas are “preposterous” and deserve greater attention. Bloom has continued to voice his support in public forums in the United States. Upon his nomination, Bloom filmed a PSA in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Children in Los Angeles. In the video, he informs the public of the importance of providing clean and available drinking water to children worldwide. He urges individuals to join the organization in its commitment to save the lives of millions of children facing death due to lack of access. Recently, Bloom has refocused attention to Madagascar, where he will lead a UNICEF program devoted to providing education to poverty-stricken children.
In 2010, the actor attended the Global Creative Forum, a gathering which highlighted the United Nations’ desire to forge a partnership with the global entertainment community. Its approach suggests that true global social change can be influence by the creative community, including film.
Orlando Bloom has devoted countless hours to garnering attention to the plights of the world’s children. He has seen firsthand the struggles they face on a daily basis. The union of his desire for advocacy and his devotion to acting would be a natural progression.
– Jasmine D. Smith