Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jackie Chan meets vulnerable children

Jackie Chan arrived in Yangon, Myanmar early yesterday morning.  From the airport he went to a UNICEF-supported community center which helps children who are living in difficult circumstances. Some of them have HIV, some are forced to live or work on the streets and some are experiencing difficulties at home.

Jackie Chan visits a UNICEF-supported centre for children
who are living on the street, working or are affected by HIV.
© UNICEF Myanmar/2012/Hlaing Moe
As soon as he entered the children put the red HIV ribbon on his blue UNICEF T-shirts and started with a dance performance which even had some mini-stunts in it. As Jackie joined in the clapping of hands there was a big cheer among the crowd of kids who were sitting and watching.

The monks and staff at the center, which is run by the local NGO Ratana Metta with UNICEF support, were moved by the positive impact Jackie had on the kids. The staff not only help the kids at the center, but also visit them where they live. For the children who have HIV they provide medicine and for all children they provide nutritional supplements when needed.

Once the kids sent Jackie off with a loud and cheerful bye-bye, Jackie went to a hotel where he held a press conference together with the head of the UNICEF office in Myanmar, Mr. Ramesh Shrestha. The turn-out was great with over a hundred journalists from national and international media showing up to ask Jackie about his experiences with the children of Myanmar.

Jackie concluded his visit to Myanmar by hosting a reception for national celebrities, government officials and UNICEF staff. In his final speech he asked everyone to do more against trafficking and to better protect children. “Our children are not for sale, they are our future, he emphasized.”

Jackie Chan asks for the support of the media in the fight against
child trafficking in Myanmar. ©UNICEF Myanmar/2012/Hlaing Moe

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