Ed Sheeran isn’t exactly the preaching kind, but he makes an exception for promoting messages that encourage understanding, peace, love, unity, all that good stuff. His track “What Do I Know?” embraces all of these things in every verse, and the four-minute clip he just made for Red Nose Day is soundtracked by the tune — and definitely focused on this mission.
Sheeran took time out of his touring schedule for a trip to Liberia with the global initiative to eradicate child poverty, and the footage that was shot of his travels is heartwarming, to say the least: He spent some time with Liberian school children, playing for them in the classroom and strolling with them through the streets of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.
Though the video shows that Sheeran clearly connected with the kids, he wrote up a candid reflection on his experience for People that shows just how intense — and moving — his travels with Red Nose Day were. In one instance, Sheeran was overcome on camera when a little girl, Peaches, opened up about how her father died in an Ebola outbreak.
“As she sang a gorgeous hymn, Peaches started crying,” he wrote. “Big, fat tears were rolling down her cheeks. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was sad because her father had taught her the song. Peaches’ dad was one of the thousands of victims who died during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. When the epidemic hit, the slum was put into lockdown with hundreds of families left to fend for themselves.”
Peaches went on to describe the horrors she'd seen, and it gave Sheeran a “reality shock.” “In my whole career I have never cried on camera but I’m completely overwhelmed. I can’t imagine what this little girl has witnessed and I break down. I feel ridiculous and guilty about crying but I just can’t stop myself.”
Watch the clip in full above. Red Nose Day will be observed in the United States on May 25, and it's already garnered tons of celeb support, including Sheeran's travelogue and a Love Actually reunion made especially for the cause.