The British actor, who is in South Africa to film a new movie called Zulu, first met with child and youth care workers in the town of Grabouw at a UNICEF-supported Isibindi programme, which provides community-led assistance for orphans and children at risk of abuse, neglect or dropping out of school.
While there, Bloom spoke with several children and a family about the importance of having safe areas for children to play and participate in recreational activities after school. UNICEF provides assistance to the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers, which runs the Isibindi programmes countrywide.
The 35-year-old actor later met with young reporters at an Atlantis community radio station, where he gave an exclusive, in studio, interview.
The young people are part of the Youth Reporters Network, a partnership between UNICEF, the Children’s Radio Foundation and the Department of Basic Education giving young people a platform through which they can broadcast their views on matters important to them such as violence in school and teen pregnancy.
Children and young people account for half of South Africa’s population, yet their voices are seldom heard. The community radio stations broadcast weekly shows that are researched, written and produced by youth and children.
“It was incredibly inspiring to see how children and young people are taking charge of their lives and making a very positive impact on the lives of their peers,” said Bloom.
The actor, perhaps best known for his roles in Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, has long supported UNICEF’s work. He became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in October 2009. Before then, in 2008 and 2007, Bloom visited UNICEF supported schools in Nepal to help advocate on behalf of the rights of children, including access to quality education and clean water.