“What those kids have had to go through, and are still going through, is unspeakable and it’s only outdone by their bravery”
In 2023 Martin travelled to Bangladesh to see our work first hand. It was in Dhaka that Martin met 10-year-old Nirob who is among the many children who have slept rough in the city’s Kamalapur train station – suffering unimaginable hardships such as being beaten by passers-by. Nirob told Martin the story of how he lost his only friend after he was hit by a train.
However, the good news is that thanks to UNICEF-funded child protection centres like Kamalapur Street Hub, Nirob is safe now and has somewhere to sleep and eat. Kamalapur Street Hub was set up in Dhaka during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and provides a safe place for unaccompanied children like Nirob to sleep at night and to eat, learn, and most importantly, simply be kids by having playtime during the day.
Whilst in Bangladesh Martin also visited a UNICEF-supported project outside of Dhaka, which teaches children swimming skills, including rescue, first aid and resuscitation, as drowning is one of the biggest killers of children in Bangladesh. Martin met a family who had lost their daughter, Maimuna age 6, who sadly drowned in a pond close to their house last year. Martin spoke to Maimuna’s mother, Nasrin, who told him her favourite memory of her daughter was when she would lay on her chest, to feel their connection in that moment.
The SwimSafe project is trying to stop this tragedy happening to other families
Every kid should have a safe space to play. I'm really proud to be part of this game. I've seen first hand the difference it makes and long may it continue.
Martin Compston, UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter
Soccer Aid for UNICEF
Martin first became involved in Soccer Aid for UNICEF in 2014 and has since been a key player on the pitch, then moved to the coaching team for Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023.
We are working tirelessly to protect children everywhere, and give them hope for a happy future.
Join Martin in helping us protect more children. Make a donation today.