Ed Sheeran is committed to giving back for his massive music industry success in multiple ways. He supports a lot of children’s charities and his eyes were recently opened to the horrific conditions that too many kids are living in during his recent trip to Liberia to support Comic Relief’s 2017 Red Nose Day campaign. He penned an emotional account of his experience for BBC News, which was posted earlier today.
“It was really shocking seeing the appalling conditions that people live in and it was far worse than I could have ever imagined,” Sheeran writes. “Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw, but despite all of this, everyone's positivity was overwhelming.”
The UK-based charity’s annual star-studded TV special will air tonight, March 24, in the UK on BBC. Sheeran is just one of a host of celebrities and comedians that come together every year to raise awareness and funds to help Comic Relief fulfill its ongoing mission to end homelessness and hunger and combat many other critical concerns in the UK and Africa.
Sheeran always wanted to make a Comic Relief trip and this year’s trek to West Africa marks his first one.
As previously reported, the ginger-haired crooner joined a group of kids at a school in Liberia to sing songs. Sheeran was moved by these children, who are living in squalor, yet nothing seemed to dampen their enthusiasm. They were intrigued by his tattoos and enjoyed singing and clapping to his songs.
“I was completely blown away by their eagerness to learn. They really wanted to be in school and all had big dreams for the future, Sheeran noted. “Despite living in one of the poorest places on Earth, they weren't prepared to let their circumstances hold them back.”
Meeting one 12-year-old girl named Peaches had a big impact on Sheeran. She told him her father died during the Ebola crisis and her mother couldn’t afford to send her to school. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she sang a song that reminded her of her father.
Their entire interaction was sobering for Sheeran, and he stressed the importance of the support that Red Nose Day donations provide in his detailed account. Peaches wants to be a musician and he feels like she, along with thousands of kids, could have the opportunity to realize their dreams if we worked together to help give them food, education, and the tools for a better life through Red Nose Day funding.
“Just £45 could be life-changing to someone like Peaches, it could pay for a child in Liberia to go to school for a whole year,” Sheeran said.
The “Thinking Out Loud” singer has supported Red Nose Day for several years. He also supports UK-based youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint, and EACH, a UK children’s hospice organization.
Red Nose Day is hosting an exciting celebrity auction as part of its fundraising campaign this year, using #BestAuctionEver. Two tickets to one of Ed Sheeran's UK shows are up for bids. The best part? The prize package includes a backstage meet and greet during which he’ll give the winner his guitar.
Red Nose Day also holds an annual campaign here in the US. An all-star Red Nose Day TV special will air on NBC on May 25.
Ed Sheeran is currently touring to support his third studio album, Divide. Click here for information on AXS-ticketed shows and stay tuned to AXS for Ed Sheeran updates.