Downton Abbey's Lady Cora visits Sierra Leone

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Downton actress Elizabeth McGovern takes a trip to one of the poorest countries in the world as an ambassador for charity World Vision

Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern found herself a long way from the rarefied surroundings of Highclere Castle, used as the setting of the popular TV series as she travelled to Sierra Leone on her first trip to Africa.

Ms McGovern was there to meet Jestina Bryne, a child who she has been sponsoring as part of her work for World Vision -- who provide health care, education and sanitation in some of the poorest parts of the world.

She has been sponsoring five-year-old Jestina for half a year now, and took her own daughter Grace on the trip as well.

She said that she felt an "overwhelming feeling" of "the gratitude of the people for the money they're getting".

"It's the most gracious and humble feeling of thanks that I get from them," she said.

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