MANILA – The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Thursday officially named Anne Curtis and Daphne Osena-Paez as the latest additions to its roster of national goodwill ambassadors around the world who actively support and promote children’s rights.
They join the ranks of Gary Valenciano, David Beckham, Millie Bobby Brown, Jackie Chan, Priyanka Chopra and Liam Neeson, among many others.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Curtis said she considers the new title conferred to them as a great honor.
“I am just grateful to be appointed as the UNICEF national ambassador here in the Philippines. My heart is full. But I know with it comes a lot of commitment and dedication. That's what I am determined to do,” she said.
“In my past years working with UNICEF, I've done a lot of work with young children. I am very excited to be working with the adolescent health programs this year. That's something I'd like to focus on this year. I'll be reaching out to them naman. This year, I am excited to meet those on their way to adulthood and help them out to learn more about the situations they are dealing with,” she added.
Curtis has been a major donor to UNICEF since 2009. It was in 2014 when the agency appointed her as its celebrity advocate. During her stint as a celebrity advocate, Curtis visited Leyte and Samar which were both affected by super typhoon Haiyan.
Just like Curtis, Osena-Paez also treasures this recognition, saying moments like this don’t come very often.
“To say that I am very grateful for this gift is quite an understatement,” she said tearfully.
“A time like this has given me a chance to look back for what I have done. It’s really amazing how a simple introduction to the team nine years ago that led from a breastfeeding advocacy has given me a number of important programs to be involved with and now sort of encompass a part of my life’s work. It gives meaning to my life. In a way I have come full circle in my professional life,” she added.
Osena-Paez’s has been a UNICEF advocate since 2010. As an advocate for breastfeeding, she has been involved in infant and young child feeding, maternal health and maternal mortality, universal primary education, nutrition and more recently child protection.
For Osena-Paez, being a part of the UNICEF family is a chance for her to make a difference in the lives of many children. “They have given me a voice that can be heard beyond my sphere of work online and on TV,” she said.