UNICEF celebrities rally their fans for children in Sichuan
BEIJING/KUALA LUMPUR, 20 July 2008 – Some of Asia’s most popular entertainers Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Charlie Young and Miriam Yeung, also UNICEF Ambassadors, took ten days off recently for a greater commitment – to bring joy and hope to survivors of the 12 May earthquake that shattered lives, families and livelihoods in China’s Sichuan province.
The popular Hong Kong stars, who brought with them gifts for the children, were greeted by huge crowds of wildly enthusiastic fans living in shelters and tent camps.
For the children, many who have lost houses and schools in the earthquake, the opportunity to sing and play games with their idols brought smiles and peals of laughter.
Reconstructing children’s belief in life
“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”, said Miriam Yeung who welcomed programs to address the psychosocial recovery of children who had suffered so much.
“Attending school can bring them much hope and provide them with support," she adds.
As part of their mission, the UNICEF Ambassadors also visited temporary schools, Child Friendly Spaces and water supply systems in the most-ravaged communities to learn more about UNICEF's emergency relief work in education, child protection, as well as water and sanitation.
"They look to be in high spirits,” said Charlie Young following his visit to a temporary school. “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.”
Celebrity power for children
The Hong Kong stars used their celebrity power to benefit the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF’s fundraising efforts for Sichuan’s children and their families. To date, the Committee has raised over US$ 10 million to make a difference for children of the killer quake.
For Lous Koo Tin-Lok, participating in the visit was an important personal journey as much as for the funds it will raise for survivors. "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.
Covered by a Hong Kong TV crew, the celebrity visit is expected to further support the Hong Kong’s Committee’s continued fundraising efforts for the long term recovery of Sichuan.
Preceeding the Hong Kong stars visit was a visit by well-known Japanese singer of Chinese origin Dr. Agnes Chan Miling. Dr. Chan who holds a Stanford University PhD in Education used her visit to focus on psychosocial recovery of children and families. She also presented UNICEF with a gift of US$ 1 million on behalf of the Japanese people, for earthquake relief.
Malaysians who wish to make a contribution are invited to contact UNICEF Malaysia at (03) 2095 9154 (Mon-Fri, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) for details.
About UNICEF in China