Huddersfield actress Jodie Whittaker is heading an appeal to help children in some of the world’s poorest countries this Christmas

The Skelmanthorpe-born star is appealing for 2,700 more people to sponsor children affected by extreme poverty or long wars this Christmas.

A star of the hit drama Broadchurch, due to return to our TV screens in January, Jodie is an Ambassador for the charity ActionAid and sponsors Sakina, an 11 year-old girl in Afghanistan.

Sakina, the Afghan girl sponsored by Huddersfield actress Jodie Whittaker
Sakina, the Afghan girl sponsored by Huddersfield actress Jodie Whittaker
 

Jodie - who also stars in the festive film Get Santa, out this week - said: “Sakina lives in the far northeast of Afghanistan and has only ever known a life affected by war and conflict.

“It’s a really dangerous place to be a child. Decades of war have meant that families are vulnerable to hunger, disease and displacement.

“Sakina lives in a very remote part of Afghanistan. Water is scarce and so the community finds it difficult to cultivate the land for food. In fact over half of under 5 year-olds are chronically malnourished.

“And Sakina has never been to school; under the Taliban girls were forbidden to attend school – and even now families are afraid to let their daughters go. But ActionAid is doing some great work. It’s helping over 100,000 people who have been affected by the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Through ActionAid’s child sponsorship scheme whole communities are being helped to lift themselves out of poverty. Women are being taught to read and write and are learning other skills to help them earn a living for their families and farmers are being taught new techniques to help them grow more food.

ActionAid has also built a Children’s Centre in Sakina’s village to provide children with a safe place to learn and play.

Jodie is supporting ActionAid’s urgent appeal for 2,700 sponsors for children like Sakina in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Afghanistan.

She said: “You can help give them a better future - please sponsor just one child this Christmas.”

To sponsor a child click here.