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Kimberley Crossman opens up about visiting refugees in Jordan

The Kiwi actress plays her part helping refugees.
Kimberly Crossman

After spending a week in Jordan where she visited Syrian families affected by the refugee crisis, Kiwi actress and World Vision ambassador Kimberley Crossman has a whole new perspective on what makes her happy.

She says, “I went over there ready to be overwhelmed, but I was still shocked by their stories. Nothing prepares you. It was hard to stomach, hard to hear and just heartbreaking.”

Stories about the refugees’ ordeals touched Kim’s heart.

In Jordan, Kimberley spent time at the Azraq refugee camp, which is home to more than 40,000 Syrians. With a fresh wave of tears welling in her eyes, the pint-sized star tells, “I met a mother who had seven children and her husband had gone back to Syria to bring the rest of their family. She was waiting to hear if he made it back safely. She was clutching a cellphone, just hoping he’d find a way to contact her.”

But there was light relief amid the tales of darkness – and it came down to the children. “I didn’t think I would get so emotionally attached so quickly,” says Kim, adding that she was amazed the kids could stay so innocent and charming despite the violence they had been subjected to.

Kim and Marty at the camp.

Upon her return to NZ, Kim will be joining Shortland Street stars Grace Palmer, Reuben Milner and Jayden Daniels in World Vision’s One Weekend, One Bag challenge, which will see them living for 40 hours on only what they can fit into a rucksack. The idea is to get a taste of the refugee experience, with the money raised going to Syrian children in Jordan.

The challenge is part of World Vision’s 40-Hour Famine campaign this year, which is focused on raising funds and awareness of the five million children affected by the Syria crisis.

Hussam and his little niece.

While Kimberley’s time in Jordan was only fleeting, it’s given her a whole new appreciation for the life she leads.

“At the end of the day, I got to pack my suitcase and come back to my apartment, where it’s safe and there’s a pantry full of food. I’ve left people that would do anything to provide that for their family.

“I’ve got this amazing life where I get to follow my dreams of acting. I mean, come on! I know I’m not solving the world’s problems, but I can use this platform for good by sharing their stories.”

Caring Kimberley’s on a mission. “I’m not solving the world’s problems,” she says, “but I can use this platform for good.”

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