American actor Jack Black, the star of comedy was brought to tears after spending a day with 12-year-old Felix, a homeless Ugandan boy who never met his father and lost his mother in 2012. In support of Red Nose Day, the funny man traveled to Uganda to meet underprivileged kids as well as raise awareness and funds for their better future.
When he met Felix, who sells recyclables collected from garbage so he can eat, an emotional Black breaking his public promise not to cry urged people to donate to help children like Felix live a better life.
“Unfathomable. Just unfathomable. This is not a place for a 12-year-old boy to be sleeping alone. This is his life. I can’t imagine my kids going through something like that and he’s ever bit as brilliant and sharp as any kid I’ve met. So he wants an education and I think that’s not a lot to ask, so I’m hoping you’ll give as much you can.”
Half the money raised by Red Nose Day helps kids in the United States, and half helps kids like Felix in some of the poorest countries in the world. TODAY reports that thanks to a program that benefits from Red Nose Day, “Felix now lives with a foster family instead of the streets, and he’s pursuing his dream of getting an education”.
With children being the single largest demographic group living in poverty in Uganda with over 56% of its 37 million people under 18, child abuse is a major problem in this landlocked African country. In 2014, a report based on interviews with more than 130 street children by Human Rights Watch found that with key government institutions failing to adequately protect children who work or live on the streets, homeless aged 8 to 18 across seven towns in Uganda are frequently harassed, threatened, beaten, arrested and detained.
“Children living on the streets in the capital, Kampala, and throughout Uganda’s urban centers face violence and discrimination by police, local government officials, their peers, and the communities in which they work and live. Some left home because of domestic abuse, neglect, and poverty, only to suffer brutality and exploitation by older children and homeless adults on the streets. They often lack access to clean water, food, medical attention, shelter, and education.”
— Urban Television (@UrbanTVUganda) April 13, 2016
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