Dua Lipa travelled to Lebanon with UNICEF this week to meet children and young people who were uprooted by the eight-year conflict in Syria.
There are more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, including around 500,000 children, many of whom do not have access to adequate health care or education.
The Grammy award winner spoke to young people there about the obstacles they face and visited projects in Terbol informal settlement in the Bekaa valley by Lebanese NGO LOST (Lebanese Organisation for Studies and Training), a UNICEF youth partner organisation.
She also visited the Burj el Barajneh Palestinian camp, where she spent time with Palestinian and Syrian children receiving psychosocial support.
The cause hits close to home for Lipa, whose Kosovar-Albanian parents fled the political turmoil in the Balkans in the early 1990s.
“This is personal for me. My parents fled a war-torn region and built a life for themselves in a new place. And each one of the refugee children I met has parents just like my own, who have tried to make the best decisions they could for their families,” Lipa said in a statement. I feel lucky that I was given a chance, especially from an immigrant family, to have been born in the UK and been able to live my dream, because I had that opportunity and I feel like every other child should have that opportunity too. To be able to be in a place where they can thrive and be the best version of themselves.”
The songstress also took to Instagram to share a number of photos from her trip, with equally touching captions.
“It was a heartbreaking and emotional yet hopeful experience after seeing these kids still laugh and smile and make the most of a bad situation,” she wrote.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve had the most eye opening experience being out in Lebanon for the past 3 days working with @unicef meeting children at the refugee settlements and youth training and skill building programs. I particularly want to speak up for refugees as I feel I have a personal connection to seeing people adapt to any circumstance they were put in because of conflict. No family or child chooses to leave their home. They all have dreams. They all deserve equality and a place to be able to live, learn and reach their full potential. I always believe in children as they are our future and we have to take care of them. It was a heartbreaking and emotional yet hopeful experience after seeing these kids still laugh and smile and make the most of a bad situation. I have experienced all first hand the activities and opportunities UNICEF give to young people who have been left without a home because of the war in Syria and it’s nice to see that these children have a community where they feel safe and protected. @unicef #AChildIsAChild