Benedict Cumberbatch Shows Softer Side By Joining African Charity For Children

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is seemingly all over the place, and shows up in movie after movie, but he is also lending his name to the worthy charity called Anno’s Africa. The U.K. based organization offers arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of the continent’s most desperately deprived city slums.

Anno’s Africa couldn’t hide its excitement when Cumberbatch penned a touching letter explaining why he has decided to back the charity. Benedict is donating an autographed “very natty” Spencer Hart suit (the tailor used in Sherlock) to an eBay auction, which will go on from September 4-14, to help raise funds for their cause.

Benedict Cumberbath suit
Benedict Cumberbath donates suit to Anno's Africa auction.

Benedict Cumberbatch got involved with Anno’s Africa because he is good friends with founder Anno Birkin’s brother, David. Through him, he found out about the incredible work the charity does with children,who live in the most harsh conditions. In his letter, the 29-year-old actor explains:

“The charity is dedicated to creating arts courses for some of the most deprived kids living in impossibly harsh conditions in Africa’s worst slums. The lack of sanitation, the living conditions of their homes, which are often corrugated iron shacks in the middle of the near lawless, sewage strewn streets and their means of making enough money to survive often include scavenging on rubbish tips with little or no protection from disease and other dangers is unthinkable. To be born into this with often no hope of escape is the living nightmare for these children.”

Anno's Africa
Image via Anno's Africa

Cumberbatch’s letter is dated on September 3, and he passionately asks his fans and anyone interested in helping to buy the donated suit to help raise funds and continue Anno’s legacy. The website confirms Benedict’s description of the heartbreaking conditions many of these children live in, on a daily basis.

“The children who have been participating in our Kenyan programme live in the most appalling conditions, sleeping either on the streets or in corrugated iron shacks with no amenities, where often families of eight or more struggle to feed themselves on less than a dollar a day. Scavenging on rubbish tips in an effort to find something to sell so that they can cobble together enough for an evening meal is the way many of these children survive. They are prey to many illnesses: malaria, intestinal worms, pneumonia and other lung infections and of course the ever present threat of HIV / AIDS.”

As a privileged man, Benedict Cumberbatch went to the best schools and later on drama school to pursue his passion for acting, and Annos’ Africa offers education in the arts to poor children who would otherwise never have access to such education. To read Ben’s letter in its entirety, go here.

[Image via BBC]