On July 4, Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian activist Susan Sarandon was hosted by Israeli humanitarian aid NGO IsraAID at two refugee shelters in Berlin, where its teams of mental-health professionals work with refugee and local communities.
She came primarily to see how a table-tennis room she donated last year in the Rathaus Wilmersdorf refugee shelter was helping to relieve stress among children and youth living in the camp.
After playing ping-pong with some of the kids, Sarandon participated in an IsraAID art-therapy session focused on improving the psychological, emotional and social well-being of refugees living in camps in Germany.
“I’m so grateful to meet and work with IsraAID, who’ve educated me about the refugee crisis, and I was proud to see their important work providing psychosocial support for refugees,” Sarandon said.
IsraAID co-CEO Yotam Polizer accompanied Sarandon on the visit.
“This is the third time that we have hosted Susan Sarandon at our refugee support programs,” he said. “We are deeply inspired by her compassion and dedication to help refugees, and are looking forward to together raising awareness about the long-term needs of refugees. Susan’s support is crucial now more than ever, as the global refugee crisis becomes the world’s largest humanitarian crisis of our generation.”
IsraAID’s team of largely Arabic- and Farsi-speaking mental-health specialists has been supporting refugee resettlement and rehabilitation in Germany since 2015. The team gives professional assistance to refugee shelters across Berlin and Frankfurt, providing long-term support to the staff as well as direct aid to some 10,000 refugees.
Founded in 2001, IsraAID thus far has responded to humanitarian crises in 41 countries, with ongoing programs in 18 countries.