HE’S MOST FAMOUS for playing an evil king in the fantasy drama series Game of Thrones, but in real life the Irish actor Jack Gleeson is a caring chap.
He is off this week to Haiti with the Irish aid agency GOAL to look at its projects for impoverished and vulnerable people in the country – and his trip was inspired by an uncle who worked for GOAL.
Gleeson has played the evil King Joffrey Baratheon for the past two-and-a-half years, and the Cork-born actor says he is “ready for the challenge” of his Haiti visit.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
I’m well aware of the work that GOAL does and I’m interested to find out how they are continuing to support some of the people whose lives were destroyed by the earthquake of 2010.
Gleeson’s uncle Tim is a doctor who worked for GOAL in Somalia, Ethiopia and India in the 1980s and 1990, so it was a family connection that really helped spur him to visit.
An earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, killing more than 230,000 and leaving 1.5 million people homeless. GOAL has been working in Haiti since the earthquake struck, and Gleeson will get to see its many projects while he is in the country.
These include projects that are helping to improve water, sanitation and hygiene services at schools; supporting cholera prevention, and ones that help people repair their homes which had been destroyed.
The actor will also visit families that have been rehomed by GOAL, as well as people who have started their own businesses with GOAL’s support and been able to leave the temporary camps they had been living in.
On 8 November, Gleeson will attend the GOAL USA Benefit Ball in New York City as special guest. All proceeds of the Gotham Hall event will go towards GOAL’s programmes in the developing world.
You can keep up with Gleeson’s visit to Haiti on the GOAL website.