Pair from Greater Manchester who won BBC show donate prize money to charity

Two men from Greater Manchester who won £20,000 on the hit BBC show Race Across the World have donated their prize money to charity.

Emon Choudhury, 36, from Stockport, beat four other teams to win the race alongside his nephew Jamiul Choudhury, 25, from Oldham.

The pair beat the odds to complete an epic 54-day journey from Mexico City to the south of Argentina for the second series of the BBC2 show.

On their travels, the men were visibly moved by the number of homeless children living on the streets of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

After they were crowned winners of the show, the pair decided to donate £10,000 to a charity helping street kids in the South American city.

The other half was given to a orphanage in Bangladesh, run by members of their family.

The pair won the competition by just 20 seconds
(Image: Emon Choudhury)

“We were doing the show for the experience but we came across a lot of poverty on our travels especially in Brazil,” Emon said.

“I gave what I could to the homeless children there at the time and promised them we’d come back to help them whether or not we won.”

Contestants were given a budget of £1,400 for the 15,000-mile challenge, which had to be completed without the use of air travel.

Technology and bank cards were also forbidden.

Emon and Jamiul took jobs on a yacht, in stables and as fisherman to help pay for their travel.

After travelling through 17 countries, including three which were under states of emergency at the time, the pair won by just 20 seconds.

“We won the show on November 10, 2019, but we had to keep it a secret until it aired on the BBC in April this year,” Emon said.

“When we came home, the pandemic hadn’t really got to the UK yet so we booked to go back to Brazil in May for when the show finished.

The pair donated the money to a charity in Brazil which helps kids off the streets
(Image: Emon Choudhury)

“We wanted to go back and find the same kids we met whilst doing the show.”

Unfortunately, due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic, Emon and Jamiul had two sets of flight to Brazil cancelled, and were unable to rebook.

Instead, the small charitable organisation they donated the money to, have been updating them every day in the form of email and FaceTime.

“The charity have been amazing – they email me pretty much every day to tell me how it is going and what they are spending the money on,” Emon said.

“They are a small organisation who help children get off the streets and into education. We wanted to help a small charity so we could be more involved.

“The best part is I get a lot of feedback from the kids and they Facetime me a lot.”

Emon said he has sent a box of football shirts to the children for Christmas, as the majority of them are big Manchester United fans.

“We feel like bigger winners for it all,” he added.

“That kind of money is irrelevant to us but it goes such a long way in countries like Brazil.”

|Ma Evening Post