Orlando Bloom recently travelled to Ukraine as part of his role as a goodwill ambassador with UNICEF, according to a press release. While there, he visited schools situated just mere miles from where the conflict is still raging (following the breakout of hostilities in 2014). Bloom visited classrooms, which have been shelled during battles between warring factions in the region.
Speaking about his visit to the school, Bloom explained how some of the children had told him their amazing and harrowing tales of surviving during the worst of the conflict.
“I met children like 11-year-old Liana, who hid in the basement of their school for almost two weeks, in freezing conditions, without lighting or heat as shelling devastated the classrooms above [her],” Bloom said. “Now, after surviving some of the most terrifying experiences life could possibly throw at them, all they want is to get back to the safety and routine of school and plan for their futures.”
The actor was pictured throughout his visit charming and chatting away to the children as they played in their classrooms. He had no trouble chatting away and bonding with the boys and girls as they showed him around their classroom and school. Bloom even managed to squeeze in a game of ping pong with some of the older members of the school.
However, despite the touching and happy images that were taken during the Hollywood star’s time in the school, the severity of the conflict was abundantly clear when he stepped back outside.
Bloom’s visit to the country was in aid of raising awareness of the global education crisis facing children in humanitarian emergencies, as part of the Education Cannot Wait fund.
Speaking about the fund’s important work, Josephine Bourne, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Education, said: “Education changes lives in emergencies. Going to school keeps children safe from abuses like trafficking and recruitment into armed groups and is a vital investment in children’s futures and in the future of their communities. It is time education is prioritized by the international community as an essential part of basic humanitarian response, alongside water, food and shelter.”
Orlando Bloom Honored By UNICEF