'I'm thrilled to be supporting Anno's Africa by donating a very natty Spencer Hart suit to the auction to raise money for this incredible charity. It's an extraordinary legacy that truly befits the beautiful soul of its namesake, Anno Birkin. His brother David Birkin is one of my dearest and closest friends and through him I was lucky enough to meet and be inspired by Anno. His capacity for love and selflessness was effortlessly complemented by his extraordinary gifts as a musician and writer and poet. I was lucky enough to read some of his poetry for a CD again to raise money for this brilliant charity. They are still on sale on the website!

And now with this auction of clothes and memorabilia from across the arts. 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.

While the immediate concerns of food, health and shelter for these young lives is paramount the only way to break the cycle of poverty is to offer some hope through education. To give children a chance to hope for better lives through introducing them to skill sets and activities that could lead to employment and a brighter future. And as Anno’s Africa offers an alternative arts education to children who are often incapable of taking up the free education offered by their governments due to the expense of uniforms and books. It celebrates what should be the right of any child to imagine, create and find self-confidence and a voice through fun play and learning. But it also offers real opportunities to capitalise on these experiences and creates a potential avenue into full time employment in many areas of different media. Filmmaking,painting, music and dance…these are just a few of the activities that Anno’s Africa supports. I cannot think of a better legacy for Anno, a beautiful soul I was lucky enough to know sadly all too briefly. But his spirit lives on in his parents and the extraordinary work they and this charity do for children who need it the most.

Please buy my lovely Spencer Hart suit and help raise awareness and money for a cause dear to my heart. ‘

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

3 September 2014

― Via @annos_africa (via londonphile)