Tonight Ewan received the International Humanitarian Award for his work with UNICEF UK at the 2nd Annual Unite4Humanity. Here are pictures and more about his work below.
Ewan McGregor – Int’l Humanitarian Award
In our current debate about the efficacy of vaccinations, actor Ewan McGregor, having seen the ravages of polio up close, feels the matter is pretty clear-cut.
“I’ve seen it in Nepal and India and how close we are to having wiped out that disease completely, but not quite,” he says. “There’s still quite a bit of work to be done. You can’t tell the mother or the father of a child that’s been crippled with polio that vaccinations don’t work.”
McGregor, who acts as a roving ambassador for Unicef UK, should know. In 2004, he and buddy Charley Boorman trekked 20,000 miles across 12 countries on their BMW R1200 GS, their version of “The Motorcycle Diaries” chronicled in the documentary “The Long Way Around.” It was more than a freewheeling road trip; it was a wake-up call to human suffering that provided invaluable awareness to a charity that focuses on the plight of children in need.
In this and subsequent trips to remote regions of Ukraine, Uganda and Peru, they witnessed extreme poverty, learning difficulties, disease and kids from broken homes with nowhere to go.
“In America and in Europe, our way of life is such that it’s hard to imagine a village where there is no doctor or clean water, where if your baby gets sick, your baby dies and that’s it,” he says. “Yet it is the reality for so much of the world’s population. That’s why I think we have a responsibility to help.”
Louise O’Shea, spokeswoman for Unicef UK, calls McGregor the face of the org’s direct-response ads. “He fronted our appeal during the 2014 Commonwealth Games that raised £5 million,” she says. “His support for Unicef is like no other.”