© UNICEF HK/2019
23 February 2019—Over 1,500 children aged 12 or below signed up for the Little Artists Big Dreams Drawing Competition, a fundraising event organized by the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK). The talented young artists gathered at the Central & Western District Promenade – Central Section today and made a splash at the Competition.
Under the theme “for every child, a better world”, participants expressed their visions of a better world and demonstrated the spirit of kids helping kids. Together with the generous support of the principal sponsor, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, and the creative sponsors, China Resources Charitable Fund Limited and LEGO® Hong Kong Limited, more than HK$1.55 million were raised to support UNICEF’s Cash Transfers for Deprived Children project (the project) in China.
According to UNICEF’s figures, just around 60 per cent of pregnant women from rural and western regions in China receive five antenatal care visits as recommended by the government. Even worse, some of the regional data are less than 30 per cent. Meanwhile, half of under-five child deaths occur during the newborn period on the Mainland. There are 248 death cases of infant in China every single day. In remote areas, the death rate is two times more than that in cities.
The causes of these deaths, such as complications during delivery, are preventable. Since 2013, UNICEF HK has allocated the funds raised in China Children’s Week to the project in 15 poor counties in Yunnan, Gansu and Sichuan provinces in China. Through the initiative, women from underprivileged families have received cash subsidies, enabling their access to prenatal and postnatal check-ups, hospital delivery and vaccinations for their babies. As of March 2018, around 22,000 mother-baby pairs have benefited from the project, with a total of over HK$13 million (RMB11.62 million) distributed.
UNICEF HK Chairman Ms Judy Chen appreciated the support of the little artists and their parents. She pointed out that it was disheartening to hear stories of the death of numerous pregnant women and newborns in rural China due to the lack of medical assistance. “Low education levels, difficulties with transportation and poverty make rural women hesitant to go to the hospital for antenatal checkup and delivery, putting those mothers-to-be at higher risk. Thanks to the donation from all sectors of the Hong Kong community, UNICEF is able to ensure children the best start in their journeys of life,” she said.
Prof Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health of the HKSARG, joined to show her support once again. She also took the opportunity to recognize UNICEF’s work in safeguarding the health of mother and child. “I am delighted and honoured to be invited to attend UNICEF HK’s Little Artists Big Dreams Drawing Competition, and glad to see kids helping kids in need through pictures and colours. For years, the funds raised through the event have supported health services for 22,000 mother-baby pairs on the Mainland, giving children a good start in life,” she noted.
UNICEF HK Ambassador Ms Gigi Leung appeared at the Competition to cheer the little artists on and called for public support in UNICEF’s fundraising events. She recalled the field trip to Qinghai before, “I remember those mothers-to-be were so poor that they couldn’t even afford to pay for their trips to the hospital. With cash subsidies, this project offers safety and peace of mind to pregnant women in receiving proper health services. I am glad that it has made much progress towards reducing maternal and infant mortality and offered help to those in needs.”
The event’s principal sponsor, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, has sponsored the event for the 11th year. Mr Peter Suen, the company’s executive director, said, “The Group shares the mission of UNICEF in promoting children’s right. We have been working to make contribution to our society through forging a positive development of children, including physical and social-emotional growth, as a demonstration of our belief ‘Do Good’. As the principal sponsor, we actively support the event through engaging our corporate volunteer team CTF CARES in volunteer service and mobilizing our staff to join the competition with their kids.”
The competition divided the participants into three groups, each with first, second and third prizes, as well as 20 consolation prizes. Results will be announced on the UNICEF HK website in April 2019. In recognition for their support, each participant will receive an e-certificate of participation.
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For more information please contact:
Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF