British model and actress, Cara Delevingne joined Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation's adolescent girls campaign, this past week on a learning trip to Uganda in support of its partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
Delevingne met with refugees and visited refugee entry points and settlements throughout the region to learn more about UNHCR’s response to the South Sudanese refugee crisis and its educational programming for refugee girls.
“As a Girl Up Champion, I’m proud to bring awareness to their partnership with UNHCR supporting education for refugee girls,” said Delevingne. “When it comes to the refugee crisis, we can’t turn away. Seeing the statistics is important, but meeting and talking with the girls is another thing entirely. We can’t let the rest of the world be ignorant on the problem. We need to tell people what’s going on and how they can help.”
More than 460,000 refugees have arrived in Uganda from South Sudan since July 2016, at the rate of more than 2,000 per day. Within 24 hours of crossing the border, UNHCR provides refugees with a hot meal, medical assistance, and transport to a settlement to begin rebuilding their lives again. On the learning trip, Delevingne talked with refugee girls and saw the impact of Girl Up’s partnership with UNHCR, which fundraised to help provide 4,414 girls with the uniform, textbooks, and supplies to go to school for a year.
“We’re so grateful to Cara for using her voice to show the world the magnitude of the refugee crisis in Uganda, and for helping Girl Up build our by girls, for girls movement around the world,” said Anna Blue, Deputy Director of Girl Up.
For girls in Uganda, education is protection. Among refugee populations, girls who are out of school are the most vulnerable to sexual violence, child labor, and child marriage. While more than 50% of refugee children in northern Uganda attend primary school, the number is just 5% for secondary school, with many girls dropping out even earlier due to family pressure to marry early or help at home. To learn more about how to support Girl Up’s partnership with UNHCR for refugee girls’ education, visit girlup.org/CaraInUganda.