Theo James appointed UNCHR Goodwill Ambassador

Entertainment, Celebrity

Theo James has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

The 'Gentlemen' actor - whose own grandfather fled Greece to Syria on a small boat during World War II - has been supporting the organisation's work since 2016, having travelled to Greece, France and Jordan to meet with asylum-seekrs and refugees and he is "very proud" of his new role.

He said: “I am very proud to join UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador. The experience of my own family has given me an understanding of the sacrifices and struggles that refugees face.

"During the Second World War, my grandfather was forced to flee on a small boat from Greece to Syria, and his courage and resilience has inspired me to help make a difference to the lives of displaced people.”

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The 'White Lotus' star urged people to welcome refugees and help them to "contribute" their skills and ideas to their new homes.

He said: “No one chooses to become a refugee. But we can all choose how to respond to people in need of sanctuary, whose lives depend upon it.

“Refugees arrive in new countries with skills, qualifications and ideas, they just need the chance to contribute. My grandfather was welcomed and offered shelter by the people of Syria, which enabled him to rebuild his life as a doctor and give something back.

"That is why it is important for me to stand in solidarity with refugees who have fled conflicts today and to help share their stories. They need our support now more than ever.”

UNHCR are delighted to have Theo on board.

Dominique Hyde, UNHCR’s Director of External Relations, said: “I am delighted to welcome Theo James as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, at a time when more people than ever before have been forced to flee their homes.

"As a long-standing supporter, he has shown genuine commitment and empathy towards refugees and has provided a vital contribution towards our advocacy and fundraising work.”

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