Susan Sarandon works with Israeli aid workers to assist refugees


Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon shared about her recent excursion to the Greek island of Lesbos to assist refugees in a column published Dec. 25 in the Huffington Post.

Following the 69-year-old actress’s arrival in Greece, Sarandon met with aid workers from IsraAID, an Israeli NGO and humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises around the world, who briefed her on their work in the area, according to the Jerusalem Post.

She also joined other humanitarian bodies working on the shores of Greece where thousands of Syrian and Iraqi migrants have passed through in a bid to reach Europe.

“There is an urgency that has filled the boats from Turkey to Greece with many families,” Sarandon writes. “We decide to go to Moria Camp, a temporary settlement for migrants and refugees on the island of Lesbos, and pass out the remainder of the socks, scarves and solar lights we brought.”

Sarandon, who was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2006, mentions individual stories of migrants she met, including a Yazidi woman from Iraq who fled from Islamic State terrorists. “Thousands of women became sex­ slaves of ISIS. Basically, ISIS is committing genocide,” she writes.

The woman, a mother of four, was “too tired to walk anymore,” so Sarandon flagged down a doctor from Doctors of the World, who, alongside volunteers from Caritas and IsraAID, were able to take her to a secure room designated for vulnerable families. “As the woman rises wearily, I notice she is pregnant. It’s one small victory. Thank you Caritas, Doctors of the World, and IsraAID (Arabs and Jews working together),” Sarandon concludes.

According to IsraAID, volunteers have been involved in several operations assisting refugees on the island for the past few months.

Last month, fellow Academy Award winner Sean Penn lauded the Israeli humanitarian agency for its relief work in Haiti. During a conference in Tel Aviv, Penn commended IsraAID for its “inspiration” and humanitarian efforts.