Ewan McGregor

UNICEF UK AMBASSADOR

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Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge star, Ewan McGregor has been a Unicef UK Ambassador for 12 years. He has supported Unicef since his motorbike adventure, The Long Way Round, in 2004 and has continued to advocate for children ever since.

Ewan’s support for refugee children

In 2016, Ewan travelled to northern Iraq to see how the conflicts sweeping across Iraq and Syria are devastating children’s lives. During his visit, he met with families in the Debaga camp who have escaped brutal violence currently taking place in areas surrounding Mosul in the north of the country. Among them was a girl called Mirna, with whom Ewan immediately bonded.

“Mirna told me how her family slept in a disused, half-constructed shopping mall for over a year,” Ewan said. “She introduced me to the reality of what that’s like. It’s easy to be baffled by the figures—28 million children are displaced. It’s so difficult to imagine, it’s impossible to comprehend, but when I think that, I think of Mirna. She’s one of them.”

We are working to protect children across Iraq and Syria, delivering life-saving food, clean water and vaccines, as well as providing education and psychological support.

Ewan and Mirna walk through the disused shopping mall where she and her family slept for over a year. Unicef/2016/Modola

Ewan and Mirna walk through the disused shopping mall where she and her family slept for over a year.
Unicef/2016/Modola

Ewan’s 12 years with Unicef

Ewan’s support for Unicef started in 2004 when he visit Unicef projects in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia during his motorbike adventure, Long Way Round, with Charley Boorman.

In 2007, they embarked on a second adventure for Long Way Down  and saw Unicef’s work with child soldiers in Uganda and land-mine awareness programmes in Ethiopia. The same year, they went on to highlight Unicef’s work with children affected by HIV and AIDS through the documentary The Missing Face  filmed on a visit to Malawi.

In 2010 Ewan visited Peru with Soccer Aid to raise awareness of child poverty and malnutrition. He actively supports our work during emergencies and continues to tirelessly fundraise and advocate for Unicef’s work for children worldwide.

Ewan also visited India, Nepal and the Congo, to make a documentary film on Unicef’s work immunising some of the world’s hardest-to-reach children. The programme Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission was broadcast on BBC2 in April 2012 and was aired globally in 2013.

In 2014, Ewan supported the Unicef Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games partnership, by introducing the collaboration in-stadium on the night of the Opening Ceremony on the BBC. He called on viewers to Put Children First around the Commonwealth which helped to raise over £5 million for children. He voiced a recording of Baby, I Love You, a baby book given from Unicef, with love, to every baby born in Scotland between the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Games in Australia’s Gold Coast.

Get the latest from Ewan on Twitter at @mcgregor_ewan.

Watch: Ewan speaks about the devastating toll that ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq is having on the region.