Hollywood actress, Sienna Miller risked everything to visit those affected by terrorist group, Boko Haram in the dared Borno State, Nigeria. She is an International Medical Corps Global Ambassador since 2009, an international humanitarian nonprofit organization that was formed by volunteer doctors and nurses.
These medical personnel offer health care, training and disaster relief to vulnerable communities. Miller met with survivors of the deadly attacks on Borno State and spoke one-on-one with mothers who kids are suffering from malnutrition and also with vaccinators. .
She said that after she saw the courageous works that the International Medical Corps are performing around the world, she decided to become involved. ‘These people work in the toughest conditions imaginable, saving lives every single day, and helping bring self-reliance and hope. The question for me was, how could I not take action?’
The first thing that she saw when she arrived Maiduguri was that the people need food because of hunger. Then, there is need for protection of their rights, health care, water, soaps and lots more including skills that will help them get back on their feet.
The sharing formula at the camp was not done right and lack considerations for those with larger families. Take for instance, a family of ten receive the same portion that a family of two gets. Miller promised to support them with IMC by pledging to provide funding to them.
“Most of them have hope. They don’t want to give up hope because if they do, it means they have lost everything. I think that is what they have learnt. If they know that we are around them – that somebody is coming and offering them support, that they have not been ignored, and that they are not forgotten – they would be very encouraged. And we will endeavour to raise more funding and try to support them in any way we can,” she said.
The actress is not bothered about the danger because she believes that it is her duty to help them get a better life. Her impression about the people was that they were going around Maiduguri without a sense of fear even though danger was always hovering around them.
She did not feel the impact of the conflict zone: “But it is interesting knowing that the refugees are optimistic, they are resilient, they are so brave that you wouldn’t know that they have lost everything, that they were forced out of their homes, that they were trained professionals, who have nothing left.
“Yet, (they are) smiling and gracious, warm and loving. It is really inspiring to be around people who have been in the most unimaginable situations, who have absolutely nothing to provide to you, yet, they have held on to their spirit.”
We hope that her visit to Maiduguri will go a long way in giving life to some of these people. There have been a lot of visits in the past and we are yet to see the impact on the people.