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UNICEF Hong Kong Ambassadors show support for children in quake-affected Sichuan

© UNICEF China/2008
UNICEF Hong Kong Ambassadors (left to right) Charlie Young, Miriam Yeung and Louis Koo Tin-Lok talk with UNICEF Child Protection Specialist Chen Xuefeng at a ‘child-friendly space’ for earthquake survivors.

BEIJING, China, 31 July 2008 – Three top popular celebrities who are also Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Ambassadors visited earthquake-affected Southwest China’s Sichuan province recently.

The three stars – Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Charlie Young and Miriam Yeung – were greeted by huge crowds of wildly enthusiastic fans. Many of those in attendance were quake survivors still living in shelters and tent camps.

Mr. Koo is one of the most famous actors in Hong Kong. Ms. Young, an actress, is best known for her performance in the 1994 feature film ‘Butterfly Lovers’. Ms. Yeung has established fame both as a Cantonese pop singer and as an actress.

Visits to ravaged communities
The ambassadors visited projects organized in support of children's recovery from the disaster and learned about UNICEF's emergency relief work on child protection, water and sanitation, and education in Sichuan. They toured prefabricated classrooms, UNICEF-supported ‘child-friendly spaces’ and water-supply systems in the most-ravaged communities.

The three ambassadors also brought gifts for children, and sang and played games with them. This greatly cheered up the relocated children, many of whom had lost homes, schools and loved ones in the earthquake.

“They look to be in high spirits,” said Mr. Young.

© UNICEF China/2008
Ambassador Louis Koo Tin-Lok distributes gifts to children on behalf of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF at a prefabricated classroom in Anxian County, Sichuan.

Rebuilding children’s ‘belief in life’
Ms. Yeung expressed concern about the children’s psychosocial recovery.

“Compared to the destruction of their homes,” she said, “the psychological consequences on these children could be deeper and longer-lasting. The children need material relief. But we also need to help them reconstruct their belief in life.”

When she asked children to create paintings, Ms. Yeung found some of them painted pictures of their homes and parents. Others painted flowers because, as they told her, they “haven’t seen beautiful flowers in a long time.”

“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,” added Ms. Yeung.

“Every child has his or her own future,” said Mr. Koo. “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.”




29 July 2008: UNICEF correspondent Jin Bo talks with UNICEF Hong Kong Ambassadors Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Charlie Young and Miriam Yeung about their visit to quake-affected Sichuan province.
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