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Lucy Lawless: Five Days In Bangladesh

NZ Listener Magazine

28 January - 3 February 2006

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If the World Vision ads have sent you to the edge of giving up coffee in order to nourish a waif half a world away, Lucy Lawless: Five Days in Bangladesh (TV2, Tuesday. 7.30pm) might send you over. Lawless, who has a passel of sponsored kids spread about the developing world, decided (after 10 years and three children of her own) that it was time to head to Bangladesh to visit her first, who was about to leave the World Vision programme and move onto higher education.

Lawless told the Listener that New Zealanders, by and large, "have the luxury of being able to care about people outside our immediate circle. And I think it's really important to strengthen this fabric of caring among human beings on the planet. We're not going to wait for our government to do it for us, or George Bush or bloody Wal-Mart or whoever, to come to the party."

Like other celebrity World Vision ambassadors, Lawless is thrown in the deep end, first visiting families in areas that charity has yet to reach. Watching a child who is rotting alive in a village where the breadline is a fairy-tale - where the residents still scrape together a "feast" for the visitors - who wouldn't want to repay the hospitality?

Especially when you see the difference it makes. Which is, of course, the point. When child labour starts to seem reasonable In a scary way, it's time to visit a sponsored area, where Lawless meets her adoptee. Bittersweet, it's Intrepid Journeys with a purpose.