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Victoria Beckham meets Dinah in Peru

Nick Knowles, Patrick Kielty and Victoria Beckham go the extra mile for Sport Relief

A Mile In Their Shoes, Sunday 27 June, BBC ONE

Three celebrities, three continents and three of the poorest children in the world.

In A Mile In Their Shoes, a Sport Relief documentary, Nick Knowles, Patrick Kielty and Victoria Beckham go on extraordinary journeys to follow the incredibly tough lives of three children in Zambia, India and Peru.

Victoria Beckham travels to Peru to meet 11-year-old Dinah who lives and works on a rubbish tip.

Nick Knowles goes to Zambia to meet Joseph - an orphan who has lost both his parents to Aids and now, at just 11 years old, is Dad to his little brothers and sister.

And Patrick Kielty travels down the east coast of India with 10-year-old Vijay - one of India's thousands of vagrant 'railway children'.

The documentary heralds Sport Relief - sibling of Comic Relief - and will hit our TV screens on 27 June at 6.00pm as part of the Go The Extra Mile campaign which culminates on 10 July.

Nick in Zambia

Nick Knowles meets Joseph whose mum and dad have both died from Aids.

A Mile In Their Shoes Nick Knowles meets Joseph in Zambia


At just 11 years old Joseph is the man of the house. He's the breadwinner and has to look after his three younger brothers, his frail 83-year-old grandfather and his two-year-old sister, Florence.

When Nick arrives the family is facing another crisis - an Aids test for little Florence, because she was born just weeks after her mother died of the disease.

Initial tests showed she had her mother's antibodies, but now that she's two she can be properly tested to see if she is HIV positive.

Joseph's and his siblings' story is typical. Across southern Africa thousands of children are losing their parents to Aids every day and the whole of sub-Saharan Africa is ravaged by the disease.

It is estimated that five people die from Aids every minute of every day and that there are nearly 30 million adults and children living with Aids in the region.

"I thought I was at least a little prepared for what I would see in Zambia.

"While doing City Hospital I've spent time with patients who know they are dying, families who know that this will be their last Christmas with their loved one, but the reality of what millions are going through in Zambia, especially the country's children, was on a level that I could never have imagined.

"We need to help Sport Relief and the projects it supports. It's not just about giving them food, which they need, but giving them education, support and care."

Nick Knowles visited a home based care programme run by the Archdiocese of Lusaka and CAFOD in Zambia. The programme helps the sick and the dying and supports the thousands of 'aids orphans' they leave behind.

Joseph is desperate to get an education because he knows it's the only way he'll be able to get a job and support his siblings as they grow up.

He goes to school whenever he can but a large part of his day is spent trying to earn money and caring for his family.

The Archdiocese of Lusaka is helping to ensure that Joseph, and so many other children with all the responsibilities of little mums and dads, gets an education so they have a chance of a better future.

Money raised by Sport Relief '04 could help this work continue.

Patrick in India

A Mile In Their Shoes Patrick Kielty with children in India


Patrick's journey took him thousands of miles across the world to meet 10-year-old Vijay in India.

Vijay left home two years ago and has been living rough as one of India's thousands of railway children ever since.

He sleeps on the platforms and makes the best living he can sweeping the trains and begging for money from passengers.

He left home because he felt he was a burden on his family because there simply wasn't enough money to feed the three children.

Many families in India live close to starvation and Vijay's family is no exception. Since Vijay left, however, his family has spent every spare penny trying to find him.

Patrick's is a magical journey because, with the help of Sport Relief money, a project called New Hope is managing to reunite some railway children with their families.

Patrick goes with Vijay on an extraordinarily emotional journey, from his life on the railways to the chance to start over.

Starting in Kolkata and ending in rural Tanuku, Patrick meets dozens of India's homeless children along the way and sees for himself how tough life is for them.

There are around 200,000 children living on the streets of Kolkata alone with a third of those being under 10 years of age.

Life on the streets is as tough as it gets and these young kids have to scavenge to survive.

"The first few days of the trip was spent in Kolkata seeing just what these kids have to do to survive.

"We met a young lad who spends all day every day collecting plastic bottles amongst the filth and the rubbish. He needed to get a whole kilo bag full to get 6 rupees, which is about a penny.

"One of the girls we saw, she must have been no older than eight, was selling lemons to passengers on buses.

"She was darting in and out of moving traffic in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Kolkata - the noise and the fumes were something else, and there she was having to jump on and off these moving buses to make enough money to buy food.

"You look at these kids and you just want to take them out of all of that, but we're talking about thousands of youngsters here.

"That's where the projects that Sport Relief fund come in. They give these kids shelter, food and the chance of an education, the chance of a way out."

Patrick also visited SEED, a member of the charity The Railway Children Federation in India, which provides basic shelter to the most vulnerable street children.

Victoria in Peru

Of the quarter of a million children working in Peru's capital, Lima, 80 per cent are under the age of 12.

In rural areas the situation is no better with a huge 62 per cent of rural, school-aged children suffering from malnutrition.

Victoria met Dinah, who's just 11 years old. Dinah's mum died three years ago and she lives and works with her dad on a rubbish tip.

She sifts through years of compacted and burnt rubbish to find bits of old glass, metal and even animal bones - anything they can sell.

It's no place for children and the local clinic is full of kids with stomach and lung problems, fungal infections and parasites.

As Victoria says, Dinah is just a child like any other. She's bright and she works incredibly hard in the most unfair of circumstances. She deserves a better life than this.

"I felt really privileged when Sport Relief invited me to go to Peru to visit one of their projects.

"I've never experienced anything like it. The poverty that people face everyday is unbelievable. To Dinah it's just part of normal everyday life and her positive outlook stays strong in spite of the difficult circumstances.

"As a mother, to see children living with these challenges every day is heartbreaking but they continue to remain upbeat.

"To witness the struggles of one family first hand and spend time with them has been unforgettable.

"By doing this film piece I hope to raise awareness for these types of issues and help to raise money for Sport Relief, and, in turn help people like Dinah head towards a brighter future."

The film is a BBC and Open University co-production for Sport Relief.

Sport Relief was set up by Comic Relief and BBC Sport to tackle poverty and disadvantage, both in the UK and internationally.

Its debut in 2002 raised more than £14 million, and that money is now hard at work.

This time around, Sport Relief is aiming to do even better. The vision is to harness the power, passion and goodness of sport to help change the world.

Notes to Editors

Sport Relief Saturday on 10 July on BBC ONE: an unmissable evening of live television and the day when thousands of people all over the UK will take part in the biggest Mile event in history.

A Mile In Their Shoes is a BBC/Open University co-production for Sport Relief.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for over 30 years providing educational programming to a mass audience.

In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

To book a place on the Fitness First Sport Relief Mile, visit or call 08712 44 44 11 or text "kit" to 84466 (texts will cost no more than 75p, which contributes towards postage and packaging. Please ask bill payer's permission before texting).

Or simply register through any one of the 149 Fitness First gyms throughout the country.

buy and fly! covers the cost of a number of international and domestic flights for Sport Relief staff and helpers.

This enables visits to current and future projects to see how money can be spent at no cost to Sport Relief.

buy and fly! collectors can now donate their points to Comic Relief.

For further information on how to collect and donate visit

Pictures will be available, for media use only, via the Press Association. Terms and conditions for use apply.

Background to the projects

CAFOD and The Catholic Diocese of Lusaka, Zambia

HIV/Aids kills 120,000 Zambians a year - that's more than 300 people every single day, leaving an estimated 570,000 children orphaned.

In the capital city, Lusaka, HIV has had a huge impact. The city is recovering from a severe food crisis and also widespread unemployment.

Both of these factors have contributed to the devastating spread of the HIV/Aids epidemic.

CAFOD is supporting the Catholic Diocese of Lusaka to provide a home based care programme which comprises of three people who work with a team of volunteers from local communities.

The volunteers provide psychological and emotional support to individuals and their children who are affected by HIV/Aids.

The project manages to help around 250 people living with the disease.

The project also helps with the provision of basic foodstuffs, including high energy protein supplements, and HIV/Aids testing and counselling facilities, as well as emotional counselling.

The Railway Children

There are up to 200,000 street children living in each of India's main cities.

Having left home because of poverty, family breakdown or the death of a parent, children find themselves on the streets alone and vulnerable to abuse. Many live around India's railway stations and lines.

Wherever possible, The Railway Children tries to reunite street children with their extended families.

It also provides vital shelter, food and healthcare, and offers basic education.

One of the ways The Railway Children will use Sport Relief money is to provide shelter for young girls who otherwise sleep near a shrine or red light area opposite the station in Kolkata.

ChildHope and Proceso Social

50% of Peruvians are living in poverty, struggling each day to survive.

Some people are so desperate that they are forced to send their entire families out to work.

It is estimated there are now over three million children working in Peru. Many of these children work in areas around the capital Lima, working as rubbish pickers in dumps.

Children who make their living by collecting rubbish work in some of the worst physical conditions. Conditions are filthy.

Children who are working have often never attended school or have dropped out - many parents can't afford to send their children to school.

ChildHope's project, which is implemented by local partner-NGOs Proceso Social and ADEVI, intends to help children back into school through an education programme and enables young people to promote and access their rights through a range of activities in the community and an advocacy programme.

The project also helps parents access alternative employment opportunities.

This project will give children and their families alternatives which mean that children should not be forced into hazardous child labour from an early age because there are no other options for their survival.


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Category: Sport Relief

Date: 14.06.2004
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