Meeting Nigerien children was a pure joy to me.
Their smiles and energy were inspirational.
Adequate education and careful family planning can propel the next generation to new heights.
As a crucial transit point of migrants, much help is needed to protect these children.
Traditions and new ideas must work hand in hand to allow progress.
I wish all Nigerien children can fulfill their potential and live a happy and meaningful life.’
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Japan Agnes Chan reflects on her trip to Niger
The Japanese pop singer, television personality and doctor of education visited Niger to contribute to UNICEF’s advocacy efforts in the country
Agnes Chan Miling was born in Hong Kong and started her singing career when she was 14. She debuted in Hong Kong, and then, in Japan in 1972 with the hit song "Hinageshi no Hana", which brought her to pop idol status. After studying at Sophia University in Japan, she entered the University of Toronto and graduated with a degree in developmental psychology. In 1984, deemed the International Year of the Youth, she received the IYY award for an essay written about world peace.
Activities as UNICEF Ambassador
In 1998, Agnes was appointed to be the first Ambassador of the Japan Committee for UNICEF based on her inspirational work and dedication to the lives of children. Since then, she has undertaken annual visits to see UNICEF programmes around the world and report on children’s issues to the Japanese public. In 2016, Agnes was appointed to be UNICEF Regional Ambassador for East Asia and the Pacific Region.
Trips includeThailand (1998), South Sudan (1999), Timor (2000), the Philippines (2001), Cambodia (2002), Iraq (2003), Moldova (2004), Sudan-Darfur (2005), Lesotho (2006), India (2007), China (2008), Burkina Faso (2009), Somalia (2010), the Earthquake/Tsunami affected areas in Japan (2011), Bhutan (2012), Nigeria (2013), Central African Republic (2014), South Sudan (2015), Fiji (2016), Guatemala (2016), Jordan/Lebanon/Turkey (2017) and Ukraine (2018) Niger (2019). She has focused on thematic areas such as education, child marriage, stunting, armed conflicts, HIV/AIDS, emergencies, climate change and uprooted.
UNICEF finds new chances for safe, reliable education thanks to support from the Japan Government. In 2019, the Government of Japan commits additional US$2.2 million to help UNICEF accelerate its humanitarian assistance to women and children affected by conflict in Niger.