More than 25 international celebrities including Paula Abdul, actor David Tennant, acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman, Vampire Diaries’ star Kat Graham, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, supermodel and former refugee, Alek Wek have joined the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) World Refugee Day ‘1 family’ campaign to expose the devastating impact of war on families.

Paula Abdul for UNHCR - What Would You Take?
Paula Abdul for UNHCR - What Would You Take?

See their photo series here.

The campaign aims to expose the devastating impact of war on families and mobilise public support and solidarity for those affected, including refugees from the Syria crisis.

“Somewhere, right now, a family is being torn apart by war, children are being separated from their parents, lives and homes are being destroyed. One family torn apart by war is too many” said Kat Graham, star of Vampire Diaries.

When families are forced to flee their homes they may have only a minute to escape. On World Refugee Day, UNHCR is asking the public to step into the shoes of a refugee – if only for a moment – by contemplating what they would take if faced with this life-changing decision.

Anyone can upload a photo of themselves with their chosen object, or tweet about it through the World Refugee Day website. The photos of celebrities, the public and refugees alike are posted on a campaign Pinterest board that is both massive – and moving.

Amongst the celebrities supporting the campaign, a number are former refugees themselves – as is the case for best-selling author Khaled Hosseini, who added this caption to his photo, “My family and I left Afghanistan in 1976 and we were never able to go back because of the war. This watch was given to me by my father when I was 13 and it’s my most prized possession because it represents the oldest surviving relic of my childhood”.

Other celebrities supporting UNHCR this World Refugee Day through filmed messages, field missions and social media activity include country rock superstars Lady Antebellum, acclaimed writer Henning Mankell, writer, presenter, comedian Stephen Fry, Olympic athlete and former refugee from South Sudan, Guor Marial.

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