MANILA - Evanna Lynch, best known for her role Luna Lovegood in the "Harry Potter" films, was surprised that she was greeted with smiles on her visit to the typhoon-hit city of Tacloban.
Lynch, who arrived Monday and was accompanied in the province by officials of UNICEF Ireland, visited the children living in communities devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
"I've been amazed by people's spirit," the young actress told reporters on Wednesday. "I just see so much hope everywhere. It's refreshing to me because you know at home in Ireland, where people have everything, people can still be unhappy and still be negative. But here, they all are just so positive."
"I don't think you can get out of something like that and still have a positive spirit," she added, referring to the typhoon which left thousands dead and millions homeless.
Lynch admitted that she joined the trip so that she could get to know the stories of the survivors and finally put a face on them. She said that she didn't want to reduce those who went through the ordeal as just facts or numbers.
"I've always wanted to travel here. To actually connect with people and see people who live so differently to me and to people back at home. Beause you read about it, but it is up until you meet these people that you really understand," she said.
The Irish actress explained that she wants to share these stories to as much people as she can, especially those of her age, to hopefully inspire them to continue helping in the rehabilitation process.
"My goal is to really bring back their story to the people of my age cause I know, people my age, they're young and they do want to make a difference," she said.
Asked about what she thought of the living conditions in Tacloban eight months after the typhoon struck, she said, "There's a lot of room for improvement, but this is step one in affecting the change."
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