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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
A mile in their shoes
GO THE EXTRA MILE
11-year-old Dinah from Peru
Sport Relief Saturday:
10 July 2004
BBC One from 1900 BST
Three presenters, three continents and three of the poorest countries in the world formed the backdrop for the BBC TV documentary, A Mile In Their Shoes.

The programme followed Nick Knowles, Patrick Kielty and Victoria Beckham on extraordinary journeys through Zambia, India and Peru.

Their experiences highlighted where the money raised by Sport Relief was being put to work.

The presenters joined three children to experience everyday life in three areas the charity is battling to help.

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

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

And Nick went 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.

Here are their stories:

NICK IN ZAMBIA

Nick Knowles in Zambia
The reality of what millions are going through in Zambia was on a level I could never have imagined
Nick Knowles
Nick Knowles meets Joseph, whose mum and dad have both died from AIDS.

At just 11-years-old, he's 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 arrived the family was facing another crisis - an Aids test for little Florence because she was born just weeks before her mother died of the disease.

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," said Nick.

"While doing City Hospital, I've spent time with patients who know they are dying and 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 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."

VICTORIA IN PERU

Victoria Beckham travels to Peru for A Mile In Their Shoes
As a mother, to see children living with these challenges every day is heartbreaking but they continue to remain upbeat
Victoria Beckham
Of the 250,000 children working in Peru's capital, Lima, 80% are under the age of 12.

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

Victoria met Dinah, who is 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 that she and her father can sell.

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

She added: "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."

PATRICK IN INDIA

Patrick Kielty in India
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
Patrick Kielty
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 rough 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 a burden on his family.

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 have 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.

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

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

"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 six rupees, which is about a penny.

"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.

"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."

Sunday's documentary is aired at 5.45 BST and heralds Sport Relief, which culminates on 10 July with the Go The Extra Mile campaign around Britain.





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