Four-time Logie award winning actor, musician and television presenter, Hugh Sheridan, has launched today his own fundraiser for World Vision to help the world’s most vulnerable who are often forgotten amid the challenging times of COVID-19.
Widely known for his role as Ben Rafter in the iconic Australian television series Packed to the Rafters, and Nick Gazecki in the television comedy drama House Husbands, Hugh said the inspiration behind the fundraiser came from a conversation he had with a South Sudanese woman he met at a Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney.
“Her story struck a deep chord with me, as she told me that her community’s best medical defence against COVID-19 – a population of 24 million people – comprised of just four ventilators and 23 beds,” Hugh said.
Hugh, who saw the suffering of communities first-hand when he visited World Vision’s rehabilitation projects in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake, said he felt a responsibility to help.
“Knowing that families and children do not have a lifeline to protect their loved from the virus due to a lack of adequate health services, water and sanitation as we do – speaks volumes to the injustice marginalised communities face,” he said.
“There is so much unrest and change happening in this world at such a rapid rate. And while it’s been a trying time for all us, I am hoping that we can still remember the communities who are the most vulnerable and at-risk to this deadly virus. Communities who do not even have access to clean water to drink – let alone to wash their hands with.”
A Goodwill Ambassador for Australia’s largest humanitarian organisation, World Vision, since 2010, Hugh will donate all money raised from his fundraiser towards the aid agency’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal.
World Vision acting CEO, Graham Strong, said that Hugh had been an advocate for communities and families impacted by some of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises in the last decade.
“We are deeply grateful to Hugh for using his platform to highlight the plight of families living in the poorest most fragile and dangerous parts of the world. Places where lockdowns and social distancing are impossible for people who live day-to-day in crowded refugee camps, slums and settlements,” Mr Strong said.
“As developing nations either navigate a second wave or prepare for one – these communities are bracing for a tsunami. The aftershocks of this pandemic will leave millions of children poorer, hungrier, sicker, less educated and exposed to more violence and abuse.”
“That is why the support of Hugh and all Australians at this point in time is so crucial.”
World Vision has launched the largest humanitarian response in its 70-year history to curb the impact of COVID-19 among 72 million people – half of them children.