Samantha Womack has spoken of her ‘eye-opening’ experience living in a slum in Africa for a new Comic Relief documentary.
Samantha – who plays Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders – went to Kibera in Kenya, reportedly Africa’s largest slum, where she spent some time volunteering in a clinic, and broke down in tears after comforting a woman who had just given birth to a stillborn baby.
Samantha said: “I wasn’t prepared for the impact Kibera would have on me, it’s a tragically beautiful place. I’ve never felt part of a community like that before, I feel privileged that I got to meet the people I met.”
The 38-year-old actress took part in two-part documentary Famous, Rich and in the Slums for Red Nose Day, along with Lenny Henry, Angela Rippon and Reggie Yates.
Samantha said: “I lived with two families while I was there and when you’re completely on your own and dependent on them for help and survival, you just get to know them so quickly. And they were so generous!
“And the hardest thing in the world was picking up yourself and leaving them at the end of the week there because you felt guilty and it was very hard to switch those emotions off when you get off the plane.
“Kibera was so eye-opening but all they needed was a tiny helping hand and then they were able to overcome everything there!
“You see that £1 and you suddenly realise just how much it does mean. That was it for me, a tiny bit of help really does make all the difference.”
Famous, Rich And In The Slums begins on BBC One at 9pm on March 3.