Lewis Hamilton travels to Manila for UNICEF Soccer Aid 2012

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March 27, 2012

Lewis Hamilton spent two days this week in Manila with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, making a short film about street children that will be shown during Soccer Aid on May 27th 2012, on ITV 1.

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 Binondo area of the city, 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.

He spent time with a young ten year old boy called Reynold, who looks after both his younger brothers, Arnold (9) and Rico (2), by working and begging to earn money to buy food for his family to eat.  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 violence and 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, neglect, abuse and exploitation. In the Philippines UNICEF and its partners like ChildHope are working to provide essential services for street children including mobile education services, 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 commented,

‘I hope that we have managed to make a film that will show the harsh reality for children who live 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 them and changing their lives for the better. Just a little money can make a huge difference for vulnerable children living tough lives around the world.  Please, buy a ticket for Soccer Aid in May, or watch the programme and make a donation.  It could be the difference between life and death for a child.’

Issued by UNICEF