Michael began supporting Unicef UK in 2010 when he took part in Soccer Aid and he became an Ambassador in October 2014.
Michael, who is best known for his roles as Tony Blair in The Queen, David Frost in Frost/Nixon and Aro in Twilight, has used his role as an ambassador to highlight the plight of children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
In November 2013, Michael travelled to Lebanon to meet children who had fled their homes and were living in refugee camps. He visited the region again in March 2016, where he met children and families living in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
“Education, protection from violence, these are as important and life-saving as water and food and sanitation,” he said.”These things need to be prioritised too, in order for there to be any hope.”
During his visit, Michael met 12-year-old Majd, who works to support his mother and seven siblings. Three years ago, Majd and his family fled their home near Damascus after his dad was captured, presumed killed. Thanks to your support, Majd is able to go to a drop-in centre for working children run by Unicef and partners, where he can learn, play and be a child again.
We are working in the region to make sure that children affected by the conflict have essential supplies, and also have the chance to learn and play.
It’s heartbreaking that millions of Syrian children have known nothing but war, death and destruction their entire lives.
As a father, meeting children and families who have fled Syria and just hearing their stories was incredibly moving, so I can’t begin to imagine the impact on the children themselves.
Michael Sheen, Unicef UK Ambassador, Lebanon 2013
Michael Sheen is one of Unicef’s Soccer Aid stars, most recently captaining the “Rest of the World” team in Soccer Aid 6 in June 2016, which he led to victory over England. It was the most successful Soccer Aid to date, with over £6.6 million raised for children.
In March 2015 Michael travelled to Guatemala where, as part of the Children in Danger campaign, he highlighted the need for a target on violence against children in the new Sustainable Development Goals. On his return Michael undertook a variety of media and also spoke about his visit with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development.
Michael continues to be a champion for children’s rights all over the world.