Children in Chad helped by last year's Soccer Aid in Old Trafford

"Chad? Where's that?" That's what most people's reaction was when I told them I was going there. Well Chad is smack-bang in the middle of Africa.

Over half of it is desert and its one of the poorest countries in the world. The children there face a daily struggle against the likes of malnutrition, malaria and polio.

That's why UNICEF are there, spending the money raised from Soccer Aid. The event, at Old Trafford in 2012, raised nearly £5million.

Half of that was from the UK government, who matched every penny raised by the public. I was asked to travel to Chad to see just where and how that money was being spent.

The actor Michael Sheen (famous for his roles as Tony Blair, Brian Clough and David Frost) was a team captain at Soccer Aid and is also a UNICEF supporter, he came along too.

Actor Michael Sheen in Chad Credit: Tim Scott

The first thing that hits you when you step off the plane is the heat. It averaged around 90 degrees every day.

I had to carry a camera, tripod and kit-bag wherever I went and it was a real struggle in those conditions. Sun-hat, mosquito-repellant, gallons of water and factor-50 were essentials, forget just one and you'd be in big trouble.

After a day or so acclimatising in the capital, we travelled 300miles to the interestingly-named town of Mongo.

UNICEF have a base there and its from there that their staff travel to the outlying villages. Much of their work involves protecting under 5's from sickness and disease.

Vaccination programmes and health education for mothers form the bulk of what they do.

Child being vaccinated Credit: Tim Scott

On any one day we'd see mums and babies waiting in line for vaccinations, children being screened for sign of malnutrition and workers giving advice on how to breast-feed or use mosquito nets.

Many of the the drugs, medicines and staff are being funded by Soccer Aid cash. Most families are poor and have very few material possessions. (The mums I spoke to told me how grateful they were that UNICEF are helping their children for nothing).

They just about make ends meet through growing what crops they can in the sun-baked soil or through keeping a few goats or cattle. It was the first time I'd ever seen anyone living in mud-huts.

. Credit: Tim Scott

But we were greeted with smiles wherever we went. My tourist-French got me through a few introductions; "Merci" and "C'est bon" can go a long way.

The children were curious about my camera. It wasn't long before I was surrounded by kids jostling for position in front of the lens.

Football is big in Chad. Wherever you go, you'll see children in dusty Real Madrid or Chelsea shirts. We found a ball and managed a couple of kick-abouts with them.

That was great fun but it didn't take long before us pale europeans wilted in the heat!

Children enjoying football in Chad Credit: Tim Scott

We were in Chad for less than a week but what an experience. We met real Nomads! We saw a huge camel tied to the back of a tiny pick-up truck! Vultures! Eagles! Snakes! Riders on horseback, with spears! Beautiful sandstone mountain-ranges! .... the list goes on.

But we also saw people struggling to make ends meet, malnourished babies, filthy streets and poverty on a scale that most of us in The UK can only imagine.

And that's why UNICEF are there and that's where The Soccer Aid money's being spent. It is helping protecting children against malnutrition and killer diseases and it is making a difference.