Hong Kong, 11 February 2012 – The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) held the ‘Little Artists Big Dreams Drawing Competition’ in today’s afternoon to raise funds for the 19th ‘China Children’s Week’. With this year’s theme of ‘My dream hometown’, the event has attracted over 2,000 children under the age of 12, raising more than HK$500,000 for the post-earthquake rebuilding work and education projects in Yushu, Qinghai.
“The 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 2010 in Yushu, Qinghai has caused severe devastation. At that time, over 40 per cent of schools were destructed while the rest of them were at imminent risk of collapse. Two years passed but the lives of local residents remain tough,” expressed Miss Irene Chan, Chief Executive of UNICEF HK. “UNICEF has been very concerned about the living condition of children and women in China. Therefore, since 1993, ‘China Children’s Week’ Campaign has been held every year to provide education, healthcare services and protection for millions of children and women in China. Over HK$ 9.3 million has been accumulatively raised over the past 18 years. All funds raised in this event will be supporting rebuilding work and education projects in Yushu, with a hope to help local children and women regain a sense of normalcy.
|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Council Member of UNICEF HK Mr. Leon Lai, was also present in the ceremony to support the good deeds of ‘little artists’. He said, “‘Little Artists Big Dreams Drawing Competition’ has been held for the fifth consecutive year, offering an opportunity for local kids to demonstrate their extraordinary creativity in portraying their utopia to the world as well as to care and raise funds for children in China, exemplifying the spirit of ‘kids helping kids’. It is indeed a very meaningful event.”|
|Mr Zhu Hong and Ms Liang Hong from Ministry of Commerce, the People’s Republic of China, Ms Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of the Government of the HKSAR, Ms Tang Shu Lan, Deputy Director-General of Youth Affairs, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR and Ms Gillian Mellsop, representative of UNICEF China were invited to kick off the ceremony. Officiating guests joined hands to funnel colored sand which symbolizes the blessings to the rebuild work into a huge hourglass; while ‘little artist’ also expressed their wishes to the reconstruction and education projects through their vivid artworks. In addition, UNICEF’s new project in remote areas of China – ‘Cash Transfers for Deprived Children’ Project – was introduced in the event.
|Chairman of UNICEF HK, Miss Judy Chen extended her special thanks to the generous support from Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation and Chow Tai Fook Volunteer Team, as well as Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. Hong Kong Branch, Estée Lauder,Toys”R”Us (Asia) Limited, Antalis (Hong Kong) Ltd., Coca Cola China Limited and PENTEL (HK) LTD for providing drawing materials, beverages and prizes, and supporting parties including Victoria Park and Auxiliary Medical Services. Funds raised will support the education project in Qingshuihe, which is not subsidized by national reconstruction funding. It is hoped that the donation can improve teachers’ training, allow more quake-affected children to get back to school and resume normal lives, and build children’s resilience to disaster.|
|‘China Children’s Week 2012 – Little Artists Big Dreams Drawing Competition’ has three categories, each with 1st prize, 2nd prize, 3rd prize and 20 consolation prizes. The art piece of the grand prize winner will be featured in UNICEF’s promotional materials. Besides, a first-ever ‘Most Popular Dream Hometown Online’ Competition will be launched on 20 February. Please visit our Facebook page (UNICEF Hong Kong) for details and vote for your favorite pieces. Winner will receive a set of UNICEF t-shirts and get a chance take photo with the art piece, which will be featured in our profile picture on Facebook. Results will be posted on UNICEF website (www.unicef.org.hk) from 28 February 2012 onwards.|
——UNICEF Yushu Earthquake Rebuild Project——
In April 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Yushu Tibetan Autonomous County in Northwest China’s Qinghai Province, resulting in serious destruction – 68 schools collapsed, affecting 24,448 students and 1,248 teachers. Almost 40 per cent of schools were demolished and the rest of them were prone to collapse. Since then, UNICEF has been collaborating with local government to carry out various relief works to save more lives, and to bring love and hopes to women and children in quake-stricken area. Moreover, regional offices and national committees all over the world work tirelessly to raise funds for the relief and reconstruction work of Yushu. UNICEF HK alone has already contributed to 65 percent of the funding needed.
——UNICEF ‘Cash Transfer for Deprived Children’ Project——
The newly-launched ‘Cash Transfer for Deprived Children’ Project helps poor families in rural China to access the necessary services provided by UNICEF and its local partners. This project is targeting at rural families (including ethnic minorities) in 15 poorest and most remote counties such as Sichuan, Gansu, Yunnan areas, etc. in China.
This year’s project focuses on maternal and child health – pregnant women will receive a cash subsidy as an incentive to get proper medical care for themselves and their babies.
In remote regions in China, millions of people live under poverty line with income of less than US$1 a day.
Suspending work and travelling long distance to get medical care can be a very costly and taxing exercise for these people and hence, a lot of pregnant women do not receive adequate maternal care and have to deliver their babies at home. This places the lives of mothers-to-be and their babies at high risk.