This week, Oxfam launches “I Hear You”, a project designed to amplify the personal stories of the world’s most vulnerable refugees with some of Hollywood’s leading voices.
The video series features Margot Robbie, John Cho, Gael García Bernal, Minnie Driver, and more reading the real life stories of refugees from around the world who have been forced from their homes as they flee conflict, disaster, poverty, inequality, and the effects of climate change, in the hopes that you might hear their stories and join the campaign.
In partnership with Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), six of the videos, featuring Margot Robbie, John Cho, Gael García Bernal, Anna Camp, Minnie Driver, and Al Madrigal will debut on Vanity Fair’s website, along with CNÉ’s The Scene, here.
In addition, “I Hear You” features Melissa Leo, Oliver Platt, Erik Griffin, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Ari Graynor, Jordana Brewster, Yasmine Al Massri, and Andrea Riseborough. The creator of the project, Julie Anne Robinson, is a BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated theatre, TV and film director/producer.
“I came up with the idea for this project because I wanted to find a way to communicate the human stories of displaced people,” said Julie Anne Robinson. “These are people we tend to fear and reject, but I found they are driven by the same things as all of us- love of their children and a desire to work.”
“I don’t believe we can become numb to the pain and suffering of so many people in the world when there are actually real things we can do,” said Minnie Driver, actor and Oxfam celebrity ambassador. “We can share and we can be available to help other each other, and it feels like we’ve forgotten that. I hope that this project helps to remind people of their fundamental humanity and the kindness and love we can and must extend to one another. Love is better than anything.”
The full series of videos, including information on how to take action, can be found on Oxfam’s site www.oxfamamerica.org/ihearyou. There, visitors can hear the real life stories of refugees, read more about the refugee crisis, and learn what they can do to help. Viewers can text “I Hear You” to 977-79 to join the campaign.
“More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes because of violence, persecution and war. These are not just numbers. These are people, with individual stories just like every one of us. Now is a time for solidarity and compassion, not a time to close our minds, our hearts, or our borders.” said Raymond Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Oxfam is pleased to join together with Vanity Fair to shine a spotlight on the millions of individuals who have endured unimaginable loss and hardship. Together we can bring an end to the worst refugee crisis of our time.”
Oxfam is calling for people to stand together in support of refugees by signing on to a pledge to act with compassion towards all people who have been forced to flee their homes and to advocate for displaced people to be welcomed to the U.S. and other countries regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion or sexual preference. Oxfam is currently working in 20 countries affected by the refugee crisis to help people who have fled their homes because of violence, conflict or persecution. Oxfam is providing food and clean water and building much-needed toilets to prevent the spread of disease, while also making sure people have the information they need to stay safe and obtain access to legal aid. You can sign the pledge at www.oxfamamerica.org/i-hear-you-pledge.