From Actress to Activist

Mia Farrow: The first place I went to with UNICEF was Nigeria then Angola then Darfur and Darfur and before then I’ve traveled now 11 times to the Darfur region in eastern Chad not always with UNICEF more often on my own, twice to Central African Republic, once to Haiti with UNICEF.

There are situations and in some of the countries I’ve mentioned where we as UNICEF we can’t say certain things just because we need access to the children so I step aside and just as an individual, Mia Farrow, I can say what ever I want. And I do. And it’s really since my first trip to Darfur in 2004 and then again in 2006 that I witnessed things that I could just no longer be silent about. And it changed my life.

I don’t want to do movies anymore. I don’t want to act anymore. The things I’m used to be I’m not…They gave me the opportunity to work with UNICEF and now I just want to do this full time.

 

Mia Farrow: At least in democracies, we can influence our governments. There was a late senator, Paul Simon, an American Senator now dead, who said that if just 100 people had written in or contacted their leadership during the Rwandan Genocide that our government would have intervened.

Whatever you feel about that, it does play squarely on our shoulders, gives us a real sense of our responsibility as individuals.

I come from a generation that brought an end to war because we considered it to be unjust ,and this was the Vietnam War, and it was individuals one by one taking to the streets, writing to the government, protesting on campuses, marched peaceful protests for the most part. We expressed our view to our government.

I believe, like the late Paul Simon said, “Just a hundred people from every district, and by that it means every congressional district or every senatorial den, every state out of all the millions just a hundred write in we represent millions.”

So it gives us a sense of a power and I think responsibility to be the one that’s heard.

Many countries, they don’t care what you say. It’s much harder to have laws passed but we could work in subtle ways within our communities. Certainly as a mother of 7 sons, I have 14 children, but 7 sons, my obligation to bring my children up in a way that we will resolve our conflicts peacefully, we can all do that as parents, as citizens, and within our communities to help young people resolve their conflicts peacefully and pursue an avenue other than violence when we try to resolve just locally, within our communities, whatever conflict might arise.

 

June 9 2009

Farrow, who has traveled extensively as an ambassador for child’s rights, confesses that she no longer cares about an acting career.

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