Chinese singer, film and TV star Chen Kun (R) and Ms. Gilian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to China, launch UNICEF's new official website in China at the appointment ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, April 5, 2012. Chen Kun was appointed as UNICEF Ambassador for China on Thursday. With his new role, Chen will help UNICEF advocate for the protection of children's rights. [Photo:Xinhua/Zheng Huansong]
With his new role, Chen Kun will work together with UNICEF as a special advocate to help with children's educational problems and children in poverty in China.
The UNICEF China compound has held a formal ceremony in which Chen Kun, one of China's most famous actors, signed his official letter of appointment with Ms. Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Representative to China, to officially start his job as UNICEF Ambassador for China.
Ms. Gillian Mellsop says they are very happy to welcome Chen Kun into the UNICEF China family. She expressed her deep appreciation to Chen Kun for demonstrating his special commitment to the mission of UNICEF.
She looks forward to working with Chen.
"We're very happy to strengthen our partnership with our great friend Chen Kun. His life demonstrates a sense of moral purpose. And he is showing his desire to use his fame and talent to help the less fortunate. Now, as UNICEF Ambassador for China, Chen Kun will strengthen the work we do in partnership with the government of China to increase awareness of all the most urgent needs of vulnerable children," said Mellsop.
UNICEF works hard to form partnerships with artists, celebrities, athletes, and many others. It believes that their work for children is never done. People need to be constantly reminded about children's issues because children cannot always speak for themselves.
Under the agreement, Chen Kun will visit UNICEF and Chinese government field projects, learn about the challenges facing children in China's under-developed communities and help to empower the public to play their part in improving the situation for children.
He feels very proud that he was chosen as the UNICEF Ambassador for China. He says there will be heavier pressure on his shoulders and that he must take more responsibility in helping with Chinese children's issues. He promised that he will dedicate himself to the work as a UNICEF Ambassador for China.
Chen said, "I will support UNICEF to engage parents with correct information on preschool education, rally more support for children with disabilities, orphans, left-behind children, and children victimized by domestic violence, and work with every citizen to create a world fit for children."
In 2010 and 2011, Chen Kun gave his image and voice to UNICEF during the celebration of Global Hand-Washing Day. His involvement helped share the simple yet highly effective life-saving hygiene practice with an audience of many millions throughout China.
During that time, Chen Kun was impressed by the UNICEF staff he worked with. They were very caring, genuine, and passionate professionals in child rights protection.
"I am just an actor, however, as human nature dictates, I was also once a child, and I can understand the situation of children in poverty. I still remember the warm care given by my parents and other relatives. And now I am a grown-up, I hope I can be the one who offers the love and care and spread these emotions to children in need," said Chen.
Now, as a father, Chen Kun sees from his own experience the importance of a safe, secure and positive environment for a child's development. This has also motivated him to work with
He said, "I instill in my son the basic values of right and wrong, what we have to do, such as be filial to elders, respectful to teachers and seniors, caring for peers and the like. I help him to develop his own judgment and sense of social responsibility, such as how to help other children."
UNICEF first assisted China between 1947 and 1951, providing emergency services, food, health and hygiene training during and after the Civil War.
In 1979 it officially commenced its cooperation with the Chinese government to support child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
In China, Chen Kun joins Yang Lan, a famous talk show hostess, and Maggie Cheung, famous Hong Kong actress, as UNICEF's celebrity ambassadors.
UNICEF Ambassadors are prominent individuals from the worlds of art, entertainment, sport and other areas of public life who raise awareness on the priorities of children and extend public outreach programs to children.