Richard Gere Halted His Holiday in Italy for a Humanitarian Mission

Aug. 10, 2019


Richard Gere aboard the Open Arms ship which is carrying migrants who escaped Libya and have been refused port in Italy and Malta. Gere delivered food and water to 121 migrants stuck aboard ship in the Mediterranean

The Academy Award winner and human rights activist was drawn to the headlines about 121 migrants — including 32 children — being stuck aboard the Spanish humanitarian ship Open Arms in the Mediterranean Sea for eight days and counting while no European government offers them safe harbor. The actor, 69, reached out to the Spanish charity — asking “How can I help?,” according to the Associated Press — and on Friday loaded a boat with supplies and headed from the Italian island of Lampedusa to the ship.

In addition to delivering food and water, which they were close to running out of, Gere spoke with the stranded passengers who had fled war-torn Libya with smugglers on unseaworthy boats before being rescued by the humanitarian ship. In a video shared to Instagram by Gere’s activist wife, Alejandra Silva, Gere said, “The most important thing for these people here is to a free port, be able to get off the boat and get on land and start a new life. Be taken care of — and make a life for themselves. So, please, support us here at Open Arms and help these people, our brothers and sisters.”

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