Formula One Star Lewis Hamilton visits Manila for Soccer Aid 2012
Lewis Hamilton spent two days in Manila with UNICEF, the world's leading children's organization, making a short film about children living and working on the streets that will be shown during Soccer Aid on May 27, 2012 in the United Kingdom.
Lewis arrived in Manila on Monday 26th March, immediately after the Malaysian Grand Prix finished, to meet the UNICEF team and the children they work with.
Most of the filming took place in the heart of Manila, where Lewis met some of the estimated 85,000 children who live and work on the streets of Metro Manila and nearby localities, struggling to get enough food and stay healthy and often unable to go to school.
Lewis Hamilton in Manila with UNICEF for Soccer Aid 2012. Copyright UNICEF Philipines/2012/Lovell
He spent time with ten year old Reynold, who looks after both his younger brothers, Arnold (9) and Rico (2), by working to earn money to buy food for his family. Reynold and his family live in an old wooden cart on the outskirts of a market, unsheltered from the wind and rain and vulnerable to disease.
It is difficult to know how many tens of millions of children live and work on streets in towns and cities around the world, where they are at risk of hunger, violence, abuse and exploitation. In the Philippines, UNICEF with the government and partners like ChildHope are working to provide essential services for vulnerable children including mobile education, regular health clinics, nutritious food and counselling support, as well as working to get them off the streets and into a safe community environment.
As the trip finished Lewis Hamilton reflected,
"I hope that we have managed to make a film that will show the harsh reality for children who live and work on the streets in Manila and around the world. The young boys and girls who I have met today are really fantastic children, but they are living without the simple things that most people take for granted, like food, clean water and a safe place to sleep at night. It shouldn't be like this. But I've also seen how UNICEF and their partners are helping and changing their lives for the better. Please, support UNICEF."
Lewis Hamilton in Manila with UNICEF for Soccer Aid 2012. He spent time playing with three girls Jasmina, Sally and Mary Jo (L-R) who all live with their families on the city's streets. Copyright UNICEF Philippines/2012/Lovell
To know how you can help, go to http://donate.unicef.ph
Soccer Aid is raising money for UNICEF to help save and change children's lives across the globe. It is a celebrity football match and television program which will be shown in the UK on ITV1 on May 27, 2012. Already confirmed to take part are Robbie Williams, Will Ferrel, Gerard Butler, Mike Myers, Michael Sheen and many more. Throughout the program, short films showing examples of UNICEF's work around the world will be shown. The money raised from Soccer Aid will go to UNICEF's invaluable work helping save and change children's lives around the world.