If you thought Game of Thrones was all about fantastic twists and fictional story lines, then think again. The cast of the hit HBO series recently teamed up with the International Rescue Committee for something all too human — raising awareness and funds to support displaced persons and refugees around the world. Per a fundraiser announced by the actors in a recent PSA seen below, fans can meet the Game of Thrones cast, potentially, by contributing as little as $10 to the charity; by doing so, they will be automatically entered to win a chance to attend the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones and party with the ensemble.
It's an amazing opportunity for any superfan of the series, and it's great to see the cast coming together to raise awareness about the crisis facing millions of refugees today. They're set on raising funds to help support those who have been displaced from their homelands, and it couldn't come at a more needed time; it’s been five years since the Syrian civil war started, and in that time, the number of refugees who have fled from Africa and the Middle East has grown enormously. According to the UN Refugee Agency, there were 13,685,607 refugees around the world as of January 2015, a number that seems to keep expanding.
It might be hard to process such an enormous number, but it's important to know the painful reality that so many people around the world are facing. According to Bloomberg, 1.29 million people arrived at the European borders to receive asylum in 2015, which is twice the number of people who sought asylum at their borders in 2014. Every hour, according to Rescue, 50 more Syrian families are forced to flee their homes and seek asylum in other places, and only 17,000 of the more than 4 million Syrian refugees who have fled their home have been resettled in other countries. In September, the OECD reported that the rate of people fleeing their home countries is anticipated to remain fixed for the rest of this decade — this crisis is not going away anytime soon. As David Miliband, the president and CEO of the IRC has said, “We are currently facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”
It's crucial that people who are able reach out and provide any help they can, and so I applaud the cast members of Game of Thrones, including Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, DeObia Oparei, John Bradley, Tom Wlaschiha, Eugene Simon, and Oona Chaplin, who are joining forces with the IRC. And you, too, can help out if you donate between March 13 and April 5 — by helping to bring awareness to this important cause, you'll also be entering for a chance to win a dream experience for any Game of Thrones fan. What's not to support about that?