Often celebrities use their popularity to spread awareness amongst people about an important issue, to support a cause or to provide help to the one who needs it.
Refugees’ displacement and the problem they face to find a safe shelter has been a major issue and the most affected are the children who get separated from their families and loved ones. Benedict Cumberbatch has raised his voice on the issue several times, however this time he was joined by others.
Stars like Benedict Cumberbatch and Jude Law, along with other public figures, have come together for a ‘buddy’ scheme initiative under which every single celebrity who have signed up for this campaign will sponsor an unaccompanied child living in the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, to help reunite them with their families in the UK.
The news was reported by The Guardian.
The list, that includes musician and producer Brian Eno, actor Juliet Stevenson and the children’s author Michael Morpugo, have agreed to visit the children in France or their families in the UK, to provide them with legal and humanitarian aid. They will also try and urge the British and French governments to provide safe passage for these children.
According to Stevenson, the buddy campaign is a ‘brilliant idea’. He said:
“Each person is responsible for this one child and can bring pressure to bear on the government.”
Describing the whole process of the eviction of migrants by the French authorities as “brutal and horrific”, she said that she hoped that the limelight on the camp’s demolition will draw people’s attention on the plight of these displaced minors. The campsite which houses almost 3,500 refugees is being dismantled following an order from French prefecture.
“The great fear is that kids will go off the radar and be subjected to traffickers and exposed to all sorts of dangers,” she said. She will be delivering a double-decker bus to the Jungle camp children’s centre on Friday in a hope that it would make a ‘good mobile home’ for them.
As reported by The Guardian,
“The “buddy” scheme initiative – organised by a collaboration of refugee organisations including Citizens UK, Help Refugees and Good Chance Calais – was announced after President François Hollande called on the UK government to speed up the process of reuniting unaccompanied minors with their families in Britain.”
Hollande said on Thursday that if children in Calais had UK families they “should go to the United Kingdom quickly and efficiently”.
A statement on behalf of the celebrities said:
“We call on the British and French authorities to immediately make provisions for the safe passage of all the unaccompanied minors and refugee children identified by Citizens UK with verified family connections to Britain. These children have a full legal right to reunite with their loved ones. It is unacceptable that they are left in danger and distress for administrative convenience. The system established to reunite these families must either be set aside, or made to work as a matter of extreme urgency. We are each buddying with one unaccompanied minor to ensure that they receive the humanitarian support they need and to personally insist that both governments honour their obligations to these children.”
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