ACTOR Damian Lewis has backed calls to help millions of children caught up in West Africa’s food crisis.
The British-born star of Homeland and his family sponsor 11-year-old Marie in Burkina Faso, one of the countries affected, through Plan UK. Aid workers for the global children’s charity warn 13 million people are at risk across the region as food supplies run out.
“It’s hard to get a grip on the sheer scale of this crisis,” says Damian. “What we do know is that in Burkina Faso alone, more than two million people are at risk.
“Poor rains have decimated the cereal crop on which families depend for meals – the last harvest only produced half the amount they’d normally expect.
“Sadly, things will get worse over the coming months as food stocks run low and families struggle to feed themselves.”
Sponsorship helps fund projects to benefit entire communities, including schooling and preparing for droughts.
But the severity of the current food crisis, stretching thousands of miles from Senegal to Chad, is affecting even the best prepared.
“As ever, children are the most vulnerable. Marie’s family has been hit hard by the poor harvest,” says Damian.
“Child sponsorship helps with long-term projects to help families stave off hunger – like school feeding and rainwater harvesting schemes – but families need help now to survive.”
Plan is also hoping to help children and their families in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali and Niger with grain and other emergency supplies.
“Our work so far has focused on providing food and supplies for school canteens to ensure children are getting the nutrients they need,” says Plan’s country director in Burkina Faso, Mark Wentling.
“But families’ supplies are fast running out and they need help now to avert a catastrophe over the coming months.”
Update: Due to his Homeland filming schedule, Damian has had to pull out of the event. 🙁
Damian Lewis will co-host a big fundraising event to benefit the Clinton Foundation and The Reuben Foundation in London on May 22nd. Read more about the event at the The Clinton Foundation website or from the Telegraph.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all men was the order of the evening at Southwark Cathedral for the Marie Curie Carol in the City concert. Mary Nightingale played host to 600 guests who enjoyed an evening of festive philanthropy with Christmas readings from Damien Lewis and Helen McCrory and a champagne party in the Cathedral’s Millennium Courtyard marquee. The festive themed canapés were delicious (especially the sausages and cranberries) and over £40,000 was raised – tis a reason to be jolly!
Damian Lewis attended the Guards Chapel Carol Concert on Tuesday, an event in benefit of Macmillan Cancer Support. (Source: @GF__website) He’s also scheduled to attend the Macmillan Celebrity Christmas Stocking Auction on December 7th.
Also scheduled for December 7th: The Band Of Brothers Cast ‘Round Table’ Reunion Show starting at 3:30pm EST on Black Sky Radio. Damian is scheduled for the first hour, although according to the site “may be on at a later time”. Click here at Ros Owen’s Band of Brothers Cast Interviews for more details.
And scheduled for December 14th: A reading for “Carols in the City” at Southwark Cathedral in benefit of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Tickets only £35.
All this, of course, if commitments allow!
Damian has given his support to the London to Lisbon bike ride to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research saying ““Louis, Archie, Harry and Tom – The Four Cycleteers… Best wishes and congratulations of taking on the enormous challenge of cycling from London to Lisbon. Could not be for a better cause.” More info here on the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research website.