Lewis Hamilton in India with UNICEF

In between the Indian Grand Prix and the weekend in Abu Dhabi I travelled with UNICEF UK to the state of Madhya Pradesh in India to see what UNICEF is doing about the hidden crisis that is affecting nearly half of children under 5 living in India – hunger and malnutrition.

I met mothers with the tiniest babies I’d ever seen at the district hospital, who were born prematurely or at a low birth weight because their mums didn’t have enough to eat when they were pregnant. Before the centre was set up most of these babies would have died at home but now with the care that it provides their chance of survival is over 85%.

Another shot from the trip and how UNICEF are working with the Indian government to provide life-saving care for mothers and their babies across India, just like the ones that I have met. Visit http://www.unicef.org.uk to find out more.

Fernando Alonso at “Handwashing Day”

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, in his role as a UNICEF ambassador, visited a school in Turgapur to take part in the charity’s ‘Handwashing Day’ campaign, aimed at encouraging people to wash their hands using soap in a country where over a 1000 children die every day from diarrhoea caused by a lack of drinking water and basic sanitation.

“It’s very important to explain the importance of this procedure, which is so straightforward for us, but often impossible in a country where many families don’t have a bathroom in the home and sometime they don’t even have a home at all,” said Alonso. “It is even more important to put out this information through schools, because children are a very important part of our society and the solution is not complicated, nor does it cost much.

“It’s very gratifying to be able to support initiatives that concern the health of children, but I’d be even happier if this was something available to everyone by right. As with all sports, Formula One wants to get close to the culture of the countries we visit, building up relationships and giving an impetus to solving problems like this one.”

[Source]

Lewis Hamilton uses F1 break to pay heart-warming visit to street children in Manila

The Malaysian Grand Prix is considered among the most-physically demanding races on the Formula One calendar. So, with that in mind, you wouldn’t have held it against Lewis Hamilton for taking a well-earned break in the aftermath of Sunday’s action-packed grand prix. But the McLaren star, who secured his second consecutive podium finish of the season in Sepang, snubbed the chance to put his feet up, instead taking to the Philippines as part of a charity project for UNICEF. The 2008 world champion made the 1,500-mile journey straight after the Malaysian race to meet some of the 85,000 children who live and work on the streets of the Binondo area of Manila. [Source]