UNICEF celebrities rally their fans for children in Sichuan
Beijing, July 8, 2008 – Over the last ten days UNICEF China has welcomed several of Asia's popular entertainers to Sichuan to visit projects in support of children's recovery from the devastating 12 May earthquake. Currently UNICEF Ambassadors Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Charlie Young and Miriam Yeung of Hong Kong are traveling to some of the communities hardest hit by the quake. They are being greeted by huge crowds of wildly enthusiastic fans living in shelters and tent camps.
The three stars are learning about UNICEF's emergency relief work in child protection, water and sanitation and education. They have visited prefabricated classrooms, UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Spaces, and UNICEF water supply systems in the most-ravaged communities. The Ambassadors bring gifts for children and they sing and play games with them, which greatly cheers up the relocated children. Many have lost their houses and schools in the earthquake.
"They look to be in high spirits. It is especially impressive as there are electronic fans and desks in their prefabricated classrooms and they are able to resume their classes. I hope they will cheer up," said Charlie Young.
Miriam Yeung is concerned about the psychosocial recovery of the children, "The children need material relief. But we also need to help them reconstruct their belief in life ... They are very passionate and full of hope. I hope they will keep working hard, restart their life and rebuild their homes. Attending school can bring them much hope and provide them with support."
"Every child has his/her own future. I think we should spend a lot of time to help them, take care of them and let them know how to face their future," said Louis Koo Tin-Lok. To date the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF has raised over US $10 million dollars for Sichuan relief efforts. The current visit, which is being covered by a Hong Kong TV crew, is expected to help continued efforts to raise funds for the long term recovery of Sichuan.
Artist from Japan
Just prior to the visit of the three Hong Kong artists, well-known Japanese singer of Chinese origin Dr. Agnes Chan Miling also visited UNICEF projects for earthquake relief. Dr Chan is one of the most active Japan Committee for UNICEF celebrity ambassadors, and her visit focused on psychosocial recovery of children and families. Dr Chan also holds a PhD in education from Stanford University.
At a press conference following her travel in Sichuan Dr Chan presented UNICEF a gift of US$ one million from the Japanese people for earthquake relief. The top Japanese TV broadcaster NHK followed her visit and will produce a one hour documentary to be aired next month.
UNICEF raises all of its funds for children from voluntary donations and its Goodwill Ambassadors around the world have played a major role in promoting its programmes for children.
About UNICEF in China
UNICEF first assisted China between 1947 and 1951, providing emergency services, food and nutrition, health and hygiene training during and after the Revolutionary War. In 1979 UNICEF officially commenced its cooperation with the Government of China to support child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.
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