Actor Mandy Patinkin speaks out on behalf of refugees and is using his professional platform to advocate for improved refugee resettlement in the United States.
Travelling around refugee settlements worldwide, he is learning about the experiences of both refugees and the humanitarians that are responding to their needs. HTil has previously discussed the importance of refugee narratives. Patinkin recently visiting Uganda, Greece, Serbia and Germany.
The International Rescue Committee provided Patinkin with the opportunity to experience first hand the settlements of refugees there. The IRC helped more than 26 million people in 2016, through their programs and those of their partner organisations. Programs that helped people to gain access to primary and reproductive health care and gave 3.8 million people access to clean drinking water or sanitation.
Their work in 2016 also helped more than 4,000 people access financial services. Their legal assistance helped more than 37,000 people. Part of this assistance included training 27,394 people in the principles of human rights and protection. This work also offered information on preventing and responding to human rights abuses to more than 267,000 people.
A skilled storyteller, he shares how during one of these worldwide trips he saw first hand how valuable mobile phones are for refugees. Acknowledging the changing landscape of humanitarian support services over the last number of years, he discusses with the hosts of Displaced how technology is helping refugees as they migrate.
This discussion with Displaced hosts Grant Gordon and Ravi Gurumurthy revealed Patinkin’s motivations for using his professional platform to advocate for improved refugee resettlement in the United States.
“I needed to be with [refugees] because they were my grandparents. They were my grandparents, my ancestors, all of those people coming over here. No different.”