Michael Sheen, UNICEF, Chad, Soccer Aid, UK Aid Match, malnutrition, hunger

FEBRUARY 2013 – This month, British actor Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Twilight) travelled to Chad, West Africa, with UNICEF to see how £4.9million, raised by ITV’s Soccer Aid and matched pound for pound by the UK Government, is helping the world’s leading children’s organisation change children’s lives.

Michael, Captain of the Rest of the World Soccer Aid team, witnessed first hand the impact that the UK public’s money is having on malnourished children severely affected by ongoing food insecurity in West Africa.

During Michael’s visit to Chad, he visited hospitals and health centres being helped by Soccer Aid and UK Government funding, where children are treated for malnutrition and health complications. Amongst the children he met was two year old Halime Seid who, thanks to funding from the UK public, has been receiving life-saving care and medicine for severe malnutrition.

UNICEF UK supporter and Captain of the Soccer Aid ‘Rest of the World’ team, Michael Sheen said, “The work being done in Chad is truly remarkable. Families need urgent help and support there, and Soccer Aid donations and the pound for pound UK Government Aid Match are helping UNICEF to provide this. It was a privilege to see how children’s lives are being truly changed.”

Soccer Aid 2012 took place at a packed out Old Trafford on May 27th 2012 and was broadcast live on ITV. The match saw celebrities and football legends team up for a fourth time to play an enthralling game of football whilst raising crucial money for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation. 

Michael Sheen’s full diary of his trip to Chad with UNICEF UK is running on the Times website http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article3675814.ece from today. To find out more about UK aid follow @dfid_uk or go to www.unicef.org.uk


For more information and pictures of Michael in Chad please contact Georgina Thompson, Media Manager, at UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6120 / georginat@unicef.org.uk or 020 7375 6030 / media@unicef.org.uk


UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk

About Soccer Aid

A crowd of nearly 70,000 turned out to see star players including Will Ferrell, Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers, Jason Isaacs, James McAvoy and Edward Norton alongside team captains Robbie Williams and Michael Sheen in the climactic match which resulted in England defeating the Rest Of The World 3-1.
Throughout the match short films were broadcast presented by UNICEF UK Ambassadors Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor and UNICEF supporters Keira Knightley, Lewis Hamilton, Eddie Izzard and Keeley Hawes showing how UNICEF helps some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Around the country the general public supported Soccer Aid by donating by phone, text or online on the night itself or buying a ticket to the match.
Soccer Aid was produced by Initial, an Endemol Company, for ITV and was broadcast live on Sunday 27th May on ITV. The four Soccer Aid events in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 have together raised over £12 million for UNICEF’s work for children.

Soccer Aid 2012 teams:

England Squad: Robbie Williams (CPT), Jason Isaacs, Mark Owen, Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold, Olly Murs, John Bishop, Jonathan Wilkes, Ben Shephard, Jamie Theakston, Paddy McGuinness, Teddy Sheringham, David Seaman, Kevin Phillips, Des Walker, Martin Keown. Manager: Sam Allardyce, Asst Manager: Peter Reid, Coach: Bradley Walsh

Rest of the World Squad: Michael Sheen (CPT), Will Ferrell, Gerard Butler, Mike Myers, Woody Harrelson, Edward Norton, James McAvoy, Joe Calzaghe, Patrick Kielty, Sergio Pizzorno, Gordon Ramsay, Hernan Crespo, Clarence Seedorf, Edwin van der Sar, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam. Manager: Kenny Dalglish, Asst Manager: Ian Rush

About UK Aid Match

UK Aid Match is the Government’s scheme to give the public a say in how a portion of the aid budget is spent, by matching public donations to charity appeals for projects that reduce poverty in developing countries. UK Aid Match was launched in June 2011. Further details at www.dfid.gov.uk/ukaidmatch