Lewis Hamilton got to see first hand the hardships faced by street children in Manila this week when he headed straight from the Malaysian Grand Prix to the capital of the Philippines to record a short film for UNICEF.
The 2008 F1 world champion met some of the estimated 85,000 children who live and work on the streets in Manila, documenting his experiences in the Binondo area of the city in a film that will air during the celebrity football event Soccer Aid that raises money for children’s charity UNICEF and airs on ITV1 in the UK on May 27.
During his two-day trip Hamilton spent time with a 10-year-old boy called Reynold who looks after two younger brothers by working and begging to earn money for food, the family forced to live in an old wooden cart on the outskirts of a market. As well as talking to the children, Hamilton got to see the work UNICEF do to help and protect them such as the provision of mobile educational services, regular health clinics and helping to move them into safe community environments.
Hamilton’s film will be one of a number shown during the Soccer Aid programme highlighting UNICEF’s work and the McLaren driver hopes his film can help shed light on the struggles faced by millions of such childen around the world.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
All profits raised from ticket sales for the match, along with donations during the programme on May 27, will go to funding UNICEF’s worldwide work.