By Trishna Buch
As part of Red Nose Day, several celebrities have travelled to different cities in Africa to learn about the living conditions and plights of the children and families that the Comic Relief charity seeks to assist. From the band One Direction to television personality, Kimberly Wyatt to presenters Davina McCall and Johnathon Ross; these celebrities have made the trip to witness the difficulties first hand.
They have visited hospitals, met with residents and some, such as One Direction with their cover of “One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)” have released charity singles for Comic Relief. Charity singles are called as such, because a portion of the funds from the single sales are donated to the charity. Each of these celebrities request the public to donate to the charity, in order to help those in need.
But one celebrity who went above and beyond his call of duty was British singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran. Sheeran travelled to Liberia in March and was met with a shock when he met a 14-year-old orphaned child named JD. According to an article by the Daily Mail, JD lived on the streets of Liberia and slept in a canoe on the beach with a few friends, who had all been or were at the risk of being sexually assaulted. Sheeran was so emotionally affected by JD’s conditions that, according to an article by the Daily Mail, he “refused to leave the boy’s side until he was taken to a safe house,” even offering to pay for a hotel for JD and his friends to sleep in.
According to the Daily Mail, JD is now living in a safe house with four other children and a woman he calls “Ma”. These arrangements were made thanks to the charity Street Child, which took action after Sheeran’s plea to help the children. Street Child has been helping children across West Africa and Nepal since 2008.
“These kids, you give them an education, you give them hope,” Sheeran said.
“I think that’s the main thing, I don’t even think it’s a financial thing. I think it’s just someone saying “you can be this” and fulfilling the promise.”