Saturday 24 August 2019

Holly Willoughby ‘honoured’ by interview with Syrian child refugee

The TV star spoke to 17-year-old Bodoor about life in a refugee camp in Jordan.

Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)
Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Holly Willoughby has said it was a “real honour” to speak to a child refugee living in Jordan.

The This Morning presenter spoke to 17-year-old Bodoor via webcam about fleeing Syria with her family when she was five and walking for nine hours in the heat until she got to Azraq refugee camp, where she still lives today.

Bodoor told Willoughby how her “simple” life changed from playing in her familiar home streets of Syria, where she visited her grandparents, to living in a refugee camp with limited resources in a foreign country.

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Recently had a very special conversation with 17 year old Bodoor, who has been living in Azraq refugee Camp in Jordan since she fled her home in Syria when she was just 5 years old… we chatted about her memories of leaving home, the long walk across the border, and how she wants to be an astronaut when she’s older. Unicef has been helping to ensure Bodoor’s education has not suffered while she’s been living in Azraq camp. This summer, @unicef_uk and @garnieruk are working together to help children in emergencies get the support they need to live, learn and play. Exclusively at Asda, Garnier will donate £1 for every product you buy with a Unicef sticker on. Each £1 donated will help children affected by war or disaster get the support they need to live, learn and play and you can learn more at https://www.garnier.co.uk/unicef #GanierSupportsUnicef. As a Garnier Ambassador I was given the opportunity to speak to the incredible Bodoor and gain an insight into her life and how UNICEF have helped her and her family. I wanted to be part of the partnership Garnier has with UNICEF because it is a cause I feel passionately about, posting this content to raise awareness for the wonderful work UNICEF do #GarnierCharityPartner

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Bodoor said it was “painful more than frightening” leaving her home because she was with her family.

The pair discussed the importance of education, with Bodoor telling Willoughby “refugees must keep learning because it is our escape”.

They also discussed her dream of becoming an astronomer, which developed while looking at the stars in Jordan.

She said: “It was the first time I saw the sky and the stars clearly when I am at the camps so I can see a lot of stars and the Milky Way and galaxy.”

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Willoughby speaking to Bodoor (Unicef)

Afterwards, Willoughby, who is an ambassador for Garnier, which has partnered with Unicef, said: “That was pretty special, I’ve done lots of interviews in my life but never one quite like that.

“I’ve got a real insight into what life was like for Bodoor in the Azraq camp.

“A couple of things really struck me, one about that journey, which must have been so frightening for a five-year-old girl, but the fact that she said she wasn’t frightened because she was with her family and how important that is – that no matter what was going on, she had a family around her and she knew she would be protected.

“Arriving in that safety of that camp and how important for the normality, the routine of things, having friendships, being able to still get that education, and education that we sometimes take for granted here, being the lifeline, being the only way out, being that escape. It was a real honour to speak to her today.”

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