UNICEF Ambassador Miss Miriam Yeung shares her experiences in Myanmar visit and calls for public donations to achieve an “AIDS-free generation”

 

UNICEF Ambassador Miss Miriam Yeung shares her experiences in Myanmar visit and calls for public donations to achieve an “AIDS-free generation”

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HONG KONG, 18 August 2013 – UNICEF Regional Ambassador (East Asia and Pacific) Miss Miriam Yeung paid a field visit to developing country in early July, the first time she left home after becoming a mother. Today, the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) held a press conference at APM, Millennium City Phase 5. During the press conference, Miriam shared her experiences of reaching out the children and families affected by HIV that she met in Monywa, Sagaing, the central part of Myanmar. She appealed for donations from Hong Kong public, to bring hope to those children and their families and help realise an “AIDS-free generation”.

“I missed my son so much!”
– Miriam realises the importance of having a complete family
This is the sixth time Miriam has sent love and care to needy children and families since she joined UNICEF. Yet, it is the first time for her to visit HIV/AIDS-affected children and families in Myanmar as a mother. Miriam said that she missed her son so much every day during the one-week visit, this made her realised how important a complete family to a child’s growth.

“The environment of Myanmar is not so good to raise a child. Monywa in Sagaing, the central part of Myanmar, is even an AIDS rampant area. Many children are orphaned because their parents passed away when they were young. I can feel their grief from their tough yet gloomy looks. I truly hope UNICEF’s goal of an ‘AIDS-free generation’ can be achieved as soon as possible so that no more innocent families will be affected by AIDS,” she said.

Save children and mothers from the pain of HIV/AIDS
Miriam said that she has become more responsible since marriage. She also cherished and cared more about people around her. She said, “As a mother, I am very distressed when my son gets sick. I can’t help bringing him to consult doctor’s advice and get medical treatment immediately. But, many pregnant women in underprivileged regions cannot access proper antenatal care and HIV tests that they may end up transmit HIV to their innocent babies without realising. Sadly they can do nothing to reverse that!”

Miriam couldn’t help but think “happiness is not something you can take for granted” when looking back on her Myanmar visit. Due to the lack of resources and low prevention awareness, many local mothers-to-be did not know they are infected with HIV early enough, and thus transmitting the virus to the next generation – which is a heavy blow to both children and families.

One of the most memorable stories for Miriam was Dawn, a 62-year-old granny whose son and daughter-in-law both died of AIDS, and her 7-year-old granddaughter has also contacted HIV. “Her helpless expression really made my heart break. I could only hold her hands and gave her a silent encouragement.” Miriam addressed that if pregnant women have received diagnosis, treatment and appropriate preventive measures at early stage, they may still have a complete family.

Join “Friends of UNICEF” Programme to help achieve an “AIDS-free generation”
UNICEF HK “Friends of UNICEF” Monthly Donation Programme provides long-term worldwide support to children’s health and development, with provision of medicine, food, shelter, clean water and sanitation to children, and ensuring they receive education and protection from exploitation. In 2012 alone, 2.33 million pregnant women were benefitted from prevention, care and treatment from the efforts of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) by UNICEF and its partners.
Miriam hopes the public can also share their love, and donate to support in creating a better nurturing environment for needy children. “A complete family is extremely crucial to children’s growth. I hope by today’s sharing, I can influence more people to become one of the ‘Friends of UNICEF’, so that more and more children all over the world can feel the care and blessings, and grow up in a complete and healthy family.”

 

UNICEF HK Myanmar Field Visit was filmed and will be broadcast on 31 August 2013 (Saturday) at 11 p.m. on TVB Jade. PleaseClick HERE for more information.