Public Description caught up with the inspiring TV personality, and PR Passion founder, Tara Sillery, fresh from her recent appearance in the Middle East as presenter for Fashion Police at the Murex D’or event; to learn more regarding her first passion, her charity H.O.P.E. (Happiness Of Positive Education).
Tell me about your charity, and how long ago did you start this up?
Two years ago now. I established HOPE after my first visit to a refugee camp in Lebanon.The aim of the charity is to help less fortunate children and adult refugees as a result of the turmoil in Syria and Lebanon.
I can imagine it has been no easy task?
Indeed. So much red tape and it is still on-going because it is in Lebanon. It can be a nightmare.
I have even been threatened with kidnapping. Crazy stuff. Their own people don’t help them and then they have someone like me who is a public figure who helps them. I never announce when I go. I just get so many people criticizing me, “oh she’s only doing it for the publicity” etc. I’ve spent so much of my own money, and its my choice but it changes you so much as a person. My life can appear glitzy and glamorous, but to me it means nothing. It doesn’t reach the real core of who I am as a person. When you see what these kids go through, sexual abuse, slavery etc., it’s just horrific.
I remember the first time I went with UNICEF. There was this little girl I went to see, I had brought a lot of food with me, and when it came time to eat, the little girl offered me some of her own food first before she would have any herself. I will never forget that day. I cried so much. They have nothing but they still are full of warmth and generosity. After the first time I went, I didn’t leave my house for 3 days after my return as I was just psychoanalyzing everything. Since then I have rethought a lot, I have never again gone out and spent a fortune on designer handbags or shoes. Never will I spend lots of money to fly business class. I just can’t justify it. But that’s my choice.
It must be frightening the thought of being kidnapped!
My work with this charity fulfills me a lot. These children give me more than I will ever, ever, ever give them. I know that in my life time I will never see anything fixed, but if I can do something for these families, then I will. I’ve done education programs for them. I have brought doctors, that are friends of mine, to see them. I have had a lot of interest from important public figures who want to come with me to see what I do; however, they don’t want anyone to know they are coming.
How do you do it, you have such a busy work schedule?
I make time! Although I have a very demanding schedule, I always try to prioritize my charity work.
Special thanks to Tara Sillery for her interview with Public Description.
You can also watch here the Murex D’or event where Tara presented recently on Fashion Police.