Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shine a light on Syrian refugees as part of charitable new movement

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are using Instagram to champion 15 lesser-known organisations and initiatives

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are promoting 15 organisations on Instagram. AP
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are promoting 15 organisations on Instagram. AP

They have more than 9.3 million fans on Instagram but, as part of their official social media platform, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex follow just 15 accounts.

The minimal number is no accident, however, with the royals choosing to highlight a select number of initiatives as part of a new movement.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle put a call out to their followers last week, asking fans to suggest "the people, organisations and causes that you find inspiring or noteworthy".

Now the royals have chosen their favourites that they are now following under the Sussex Royal account – one of which works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The idea was spawned from another of Markle's recent endeavours, her guest-edit of September's British Vogue. Entitled Forces for Change, the issue of the esteemed fashion magazine was themed around those making a difference in the world.

"Many of you have suggested that we use this month as an opportunity to highlight lesser-known organisations and shine a light on those working hard behind the scenes that may not get the level of attention that they so rightly deserve," read a statement from the Sussexes on Instagram, as they revealed the accounts they had chosen to follow.

"These accounts showcase those persevering at the grassroots level, connecting our global community through a shared lens of giving back and helping one another. We were so happy to learn about them and are now able to share them with you."

Among the causes championed by the royals is a non-profit that supports refugees' mental health, a charity dedicated to preserving the population of bees and one focused on marine conservation.

Below, we outline the organisations selected by Sussexes.

What are the 15 accounts that Sussex Royal is now following?

Art Of Hope: This US non-profit works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon to heal the wounds of war, using art therapy and vocational workshops to help children deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma. "We aim to bring back a sense of self-worth, dignity and normalcy that in the long-term will help them have a smoother journey overcoming the harsh realities of living life as survivors of war," says the charity's website.

Tiny Tickers: This British charity, founded by a cardiologist in 1999, "works to improve the detection, care and treatment of babies with serious heart conditions". According to Tiny Tickers, around 1,000 newborns in the UK leave the hospital with an undiagnosed heart defect, a statistic they hope to change.

Global Wellness Day: This non-profit initiative promotes physical and spiritual wellness, encouraging people around the world to "live well" with a series of events, such as marathons and meditative workshops. The annual event will next take place on Saturday, June 13 2020.

Love The Oceans: This Mozambique charity aims to help conserve the world's oceans with its intensive research, studying the waters and marine life of Guinjata Bay to "to drive action towards a more sustainable future". "Our ultimate goal is to establish a Marine Protected Area for the Inhambane Province in Mozambique, achieving higher biodiversity whilst protecting endangered species," the organisation's website states.

Beyond Blue: This Australian non-profit supports those suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Beyond Blue runs a helpline, as well as offering advice through email, forums and online chats.

Lion Guardians: A conservation organisation focused on preserving the lion population in Kenya. The charity trains Maasai warriors to protect the species outside protected areas and monitor populations, as well as helping communities to learn to live with lions, rather than kill the big cats.

Rafiki Mwema: This charity supports and works with children who are victims of sexual abuse in Kenya. The Australian-founded organisation provides therapeutic care and runs safe houses in the African nation, caring for young girls predominately from orphanages and institutions.

Earth Day Network: This global initiative aims to spread awareness of environmental issues, with more than one billion people now participating in Earth Day activities each year, such as turning off their lights, planting trees or holding beach clean-up events.

Plan International: This UK charity is dedicated to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls across the world, creating programmes that ensure many have access to education, healthcare, disaster support and clean water.

Children International: This US-based organisation runs centres around the world, ensuring children living in poverty have access to medical offices, libraries, playgrounds and more. It also helps provide job opportunities for young people after they finish school.

Free Wheelchair Mission: This non-profit provides wheelchairs to users who cannot afford them, so far distributing more than one million chairs to people in 93 countries around the world.

Save the Bees: This organisation aims to support the global bee population, as well as raise awareness about how the insects are crucial to our food system and agriculture. The charity sells bracelets and uses the profits to build and maintain beehives, as well as raise new colonies.

BlinkNow Foundation: This organisation supports a community in Surkhet, Nepal, empowering the community's youth through a school, care home, safe house and employment support for fresh graduates.

Waves for Change: A South African-founded non-profit that runs surf therapy workshops and a child-friendly mental health service in communities affected by violence, poverty and conflict.

Pawsitive Change Program: This US initiative pairs shelter dogs with inmates in Californian prisons, in a bid to give "both a second chance".

Updated: August 6, 2019 12:02 PM

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