Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium on May 4, 1929. At the age of 5, Hepburn was sent to boarding school in England where she would live alone. In 1939, England declared war on Germany and Hepburn's mother, Ella, sent for her to return home to Holland. Holland was a neutral country at this time and her mother thought it would be safe to stay here. Little did they know, Germany would soon invade and turn their life upside down.
With the German invasion, came violence and a poor political climate. Along with this, living conditions became terrible for those in Holland. Food imports were cut off and a "Hunger Winter" began. Luckily, Hepburn was one of the many children living in Holland who survived with the help of UNICEF. UNICEF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting children and mothers all over the world who are in need of humanitarian or developmental assistance. The assistance she, and many other children living in Holland, received included food, supplies, and medical aid.
During this time, Hepburn pushed through her problems and used her passion of dancing to perform recitals and raise money for the Nazi Resistance.
Hepburn survived World War 2 but was left with anemia, malnutrition, and asthma. This only motivated her to continue to follow her passion for dancing which lead her to move to England with her mother. Here, Hepburn focused on becoming a prima ballerina but eventually went on to working in Broadway shows and then small roles in films.
Hollywood Golden Age Era
In one of these films, called Monte Carlo Baby, Hepburn was scouted for a starring role in a play written by a famous writer named Colette. This led to her acting career in Hollywood films. Some of her most famous films include Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Role as UNICEF Ambassador
Audrey Hepburn's job as UNICEF ambassador carried the duty of speaking on behalf of the organization. Hepburn knew how important this organization was for children around the world and it needed the support of powerful groups and people. Hepburn attended many important events as a representative of UNICEF and spoke out on the issues current at the time and solutions to these issues. She hosted auctions, appeared in broadcasts for UNICEF, and designed fundraising cards. She even spoke to the U.S. Congress and asked for their support. Audrey Hepburn believed that those who could give, needed to give struggling countries the help in order for them to help themselves. Here is a clip from one of Audrey Hepburn's speeches.
Audrey Hepburn was successful in promoting the organization but she felt that she needed to do more. In the countries that she visited, she spoke to women of famine stricken children about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to treat dehydration. She also worked like any other UNICEF worker and assisted in the immunization of children, helped distribute medicine, visited dam construction sites, and overall, made the children happy.