Actor Gerard Butler teaches a maths lesson, plants crops in a school garden, and shares acting tips with children in a new charity film.
The actor travelled to Liberia and Haiti in Love Reaches Everywhere, about the charity Mary’s Meals, which serves food to hungry children living in 19 of the world’s poorest countries.
The 30-minute film, shared on the charity’s website, was made before the coronavirus pandemic, when the meals were served in schools.
He says: “Going on this journey hit me from so many different angles – emotional, spiritual and physical. I make movies about heroes, but often they’re in big, over-the-top settings … and then you go to Liberia and Haiti and you see that the teachers in the schools are heroes, and the kids are all heroes that come here on empty stomachs every day to get an education.
“Every meal served by Mary’s Meals is a piece of charity and a little piece of love. And that all passes down into the families and communities and gives that sense of hope. It’s the difference between a kid saying ‘I want to survive tomorrow’ and ‘I want to be a doctor’.”
Since the film was made, following Butler’s trip with the charity’s founder, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the Covid-19 pandemic caused schools across the globe to close.
The charity has since been working with governments and local communities to ensure families can continue to feed their children at home.
Parents have been invited to collect emergency food parcels from schools, maintaining social distancing and hand-washing as part of the collection process.
MacFarlane-Barrow said: “We are in a time of unprecedented global crisis that is impacting the way people around the world are living, working and being educated. Children are especially vulnerable and at risk in this situation and there is a significant danger that they are forgotten amid the fear and confusion of this new world.
“As a charity that is committed to feeding children in some of the world’s poorest communities, it is more important than ever for Mary’s Meals to keep its promise and support those children by delivering food to them in their communities and homes, which are their new places of education.
“By sharing his experiences with Mary’s Meals through this film, Gerry is helping us to shine a spotlight on the children we feed and ensure their voices aren’t lost.
“It was a great joy to travel with him to Haiti and Liberia and we are profoundly grateful to him for his invaluable support.”