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Melissa Fleming: the Head of Communications at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to speak at TEDxThessaloniki 2015

27 April 2015

As these words are being written about 50,000,000 people do not live in their home anymore. Not because they wanted this to happen, but because they were forced to do so. They sought refuge to another country in order to live without the constant fear of war. Never since the World War II have there been so many people on the run. Unfortunately this is a growing number. It is also a subject that dominates the media of the Mediterranean countries and Europe in general during the last few days. We see pictures that demonstrate the reality that these people live as they try to survive.

As Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming is trying to solve a difficult but not impossible problem: to shed light on stories of uprooted people and to stir public interest. To draw our attention to the talent and skills that perish every day in those parts of the world.

Melissa Fleming also leads an innovative multi-media production team producing refugee stories of survival and resilience. Her talk in TEDGlobal 2014, “Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive” has been viewed over 700,000 times and has been subtitled in over 20 languages. She is also the co-organizer of TEDxPlaceDesNations in Geneva. She writes a regular column for the Guardian and is a contributor to UNHCR’s blog.

On Saturday 23th May she will speak at TEDx Thessaloniki in an attempt to bridge the gap between a life without forced displacements and the life that millions of refugees in the world are forced to live every day.

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