War Child Canada is looking for more support in difficult times.
The international organization, which provides assistance to children in areas experiencing conflict, launched a new PSA on Thursday to raise awareness during the coronavirus pandemic.
The PSA features appearances by Patrick J. Adams, Troian Bellisario, Michaela DePrince, Edie Falco, Martin Garrix, Chantal Kreviazuk, Julianna Margulies, Sarah McLachlan, Vivianne Miedema, Elisabeth Moss, Thomas Sadoski, Amanda Seyfried and KT Tunstall.
ET Canada spoke with War Child Canada founder and President Dr. Samantha Nutt about the new campaign and the issues children in conflict zones are facing amidst COVID-19.
“It makes it harder for us to, for example, start up new programs in new areas. We’ve been really pushing to become fully operational in Yemen, but unfortunately without being able to fly and to mobilize locally it’s very difficult, especially in countries that are new areas of operation for us” she said of how the pandemic has affected the War Child’s mission. “That’s a good example of where you have millions of children who are at risk … so not being able to mobilize because of COVID is a real struggle.”
Asked how the celebrity-filled PSA came about, Nutt explained that it was created in partnership with their sister organization in Holland, and later found that their celebrity ambassadors were “hugely enthusiastic” about supporting the cause.
“We all came together for this international awareness-raising campaign because as we focus on the very real challenges we’re all facing here at home, it’s important to remember that in many of the environments that War Child is working in, people are not only affected by the COVID pandemic, but they’re also affected by very deep issues of poverty, conflict and instability, and a lack of healthcare. Children and their families in war torn and refugee environments are becoming increasingly vulnerable, especially when access to basic health care, food and water is already challenging” she said.
As for what Canadians can do to help support the War Child mission in the time of coronavirus, Nutt said, “Right now as we really mobilize our resources to help ensure that Canadians are protected and supported, it is it is important that we do continue to think about the needs of those beyond our borders, especially in unstable and impoverished countries, and remember why our foreign aid matters and our foreign policy matters.”
She added: “When it comes to what people can do, besides immediately giving, it’s making sure that on a political level that we’re still paying attention to those kinds of issues and in getting engaged.”
Both Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski spoke with ET Canada’s Sangita Patel about getting involved.
Speaking from New York, Sadoski said, “War-affected countries are in constant conflict. We can manage illness etc but countries like Sudan and Afghanistan can’t so when a pandemic like COVID-19 hits them, it tears through the refugee camps…and they’re not able to handle it. A population at war, plus many with underlying health issues then introduce a virus like this and it will lead to one of the worst human tragedies. Organizations need help now, especially the U.S. pulling out of the WHO so supporting is very important now.”
Seyfried added that “a dollar a day goes a long way” to help out with essential items. “It’s not easy asking for money now at this time. But we are all giving to help others.”
The two also revealed what makes them want to give back.
Seyfried said that as she got older she “found her voice”, continuing, ” I began to believe what’s important too. I was born in a good position. I know do what you can to help others.”
While Sadoski credited his grandmother, “She always showed up. She’s my hero. Her voice pushes me forward.”
You can help War Child by visiting here.