Ms. Lundberg’s journey with UNHCR Thailand began nearly three years ago when she contacted the agency to offer her support to people forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. Since then, she has visited four refugee camps in Thailand and promoted UNHCR’s Namjai for Refugees campaign to assist refugees in the country. Last year she also joined over 60 top celebrities around the world for the #WithRefugees campaign that delivered over 1.2 million public signatures in support of refugees at the UN General Assembly’s special session on refugees and migrants.
“Goodwill Ambassadors are the most recognizable public faces of UNHCR. They help to bring our organization to every corner of the world through their influence, dedication and hard work,” said Ruvendrini Menikdiwela, UNHCR’s Representative in Thailand. “I am delighted to welcome Praya “Pu” Lundberg to our global network and grateful for her commitment to make a difference in the lives of people who are forced to flee their homes.”
With this appointment, Ms. Lundberg follows in the footsteps of UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors such as Cate Blanchett, Ger Duany, Jung Woo-Sung and Yao Chen.
“It is an honour to join UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador Team,” said Ms. Lundberg. “To me, refugees are not different from us, but what they have been through is far beyond what we can imagine. I am deeply touched by how they manage to keep their dignity, hopes and dreams after everything they have faced in their lives. I am committed to do my best to raise my voice for these people.”
As UNHCR Thailand’s first Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Lundberg will continue to raise awareness, funds and advocate for the rights of refugees in Thailand and abroad. This year she plans to complete her tour of all nine border camps in Thailand, and visit Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, one of the largest refugee camps in the world.
“In today’s complicated global context of overlapping conflicts and displacement situations, it is vital to gain support from all stakeholders,” said Menikdiwela. “Celebrities and other high-profile personalities can use their reputation to influence change and improve the lives of displaced people.”
More than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced around the world as a result of new and unresolved conflicts – a scale not seen since the end of World War II.