UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis reads a storybook to children in a Child-Friendly Space at Abucay Bunkhouse, Tacloban City during a two day visit to Typhoon Yolanda affected areas. Photo courtesy of UNICEF Philippines.
TACLOBAN CITY -- Actress and TV host Anne Curtis is UNICEF's newly appointed celebrity advocate for children.
Curtis spent two days visiting parts of Leyte, where she saw the recovery operations in areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda. She also spent time interacting with children and their families.
"I am honored to join UNICEF on this very fulfilling and meaningful trip. I am deeply touched by how children and families have coped and are building back their lives. Clearly, significant progress have been achieved. Talking to children and their families, and being able to bring smiles to their faces is something I will remember for the rest of my life," she said.
As a donor and supporter of UNICEF, Curtis said she is glad to see that the funds have reached and worked for children who are in need.
While in Leyte, Curtis supported emergency response and visited a maternal health care ward in the regional hospital, an immunization site, a child friendly space at a temporary housing site, and educational facilities such as day care centers and elementary schools.
In every site she visited, the "It's Showtime" host took the time to talk with children and families.
"I played with children in a child-friendly space and a day care center. I read books to them and helped them draw in an arts and crafts session. I washed hands with school children and participated in their song and dance number," she shared.
"It was heartwarming to listen to mothers, children and young people. It is important that people know these stories, understand how communities are recovering and what we can do to help."
As a UNICEF celebrity advocate for children, Curtis will focus on promoting Early Childhood Care & Development. She will also help in mobilizing support and resources for the most vulnerable children and families, those living in abject poverty, are affected by violence, abuse, exploitation, and particularly in emergency and conflict situations.
Curtis has been a supporter of UNICEF since 2009.
"We trust that with her popularity and large following, Anne will play a significant role in drawing due attention to issues affecting the most vulnerable, marginalized and underserved children," said UNICEF Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander.
In the Philippines, Curtis joins UNICEF national ambassador Gary Valenciano and UNICEF special advocate for children Daphne Paez in upholding UNICEF’s mandate to protect and promote the rights of children worldwide.