Stephanie Waring plans Iraqi Kurdistan return
31 October 2018 - 3:00 PM

Stephanie Waring plans Iraqi Kurdistan return

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Stephanie Waring is planning to return to refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan next year.

The "Hollyoaks" actress recently opened up about her "life-changing" visit to the autonomous northern Iraqi region, where she spoke to Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad's sister, who told how her brothers were murdered and the women were sold as sex slaves after their village was invaded by ISIS.

And Stephanie is determined to head back to the region in 2019, because she wants to help the refugees "any way" she can.

When asked if she will return to the area, she said: "Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt I will be back next year.

"I want to continue this, I really want to fight for them, and help in any way I can."

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The 40-year-old actress admits she was "quite ignorant" to the goings on in such war-torn countries before her visit to the refugee camps, during which time she delivered care packages, including clothes and medical supplies, to those in need, but she has brought the memories home with her.

She said: "I've come back with a sense of knowing now, because I was quite ignorant to what was going on in these war-torn countries.

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"It's not something I've ever thought about. It's quite sad to think that.

"I've brought it home with me."

Despite the refugees" plight, Stephanie - who is a goodwill ambassador of Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation, which aims to save lives, alleviate suffering, and give refugee children hope for the future - says their morale was boosted when they saw her.

Speaking to ITV News, she added: "When I went in they knew I was there to help, it was just smiles, and a lot of love and a lot of gratitude.

"You can either go into despair or you can hope, and they hope and have dreams."

Stephanie's comments come two weeks after she first told fans about her visit, admitting she felt "very privileged" to have been allowed to visit the camps.

She wrote on Instagram: "I have just arrived back in the UK from Iraq Kurdistan where I spent a few days with my charity @bringhopefoundation visiting the refugee camps. This experience has opened my eyes to so much and changed me in ways I could have never imagined.. seeing first hand the devastation and poverty over there was truly heart breaking but I feel very privileged to have been allowed into to camps to help and provide the Yazidi ladies and children with much needed goods.

"What I have seen is their reality and has been for 6 years and nothing is going to change for them so all we can do as a charity is to provide them with everything they need, from clothes, medical supplies, sanitary protection, toys and books, football equipment and so much more.

"I was also able to chat with Nadia Murads family, Nadia has just won the Nobel Peace Prize .. her sister went into great detail about what happened to Nadia herself and family when ISIS invaded their village, her brothers murdered and the women were sold as sex slaves.. it was heart breaking to listen to. (sic)"

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