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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medallist and world champion figure skater Yuna Kim today made a heartfelt appeal for support for the children of conflict-torn Syria.
In a 30-second video message Kim, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2010, calls on viewers to, “Help UNICEF help the children of Syria.”
The crisis in Syria, now in its third year, has affected 3.1 million children inside Syria whilst the number of children who have fled to neighboring countries as refugees is nearing 730,000.
UNICEF is delivering food, water, medical supplies, education, child protection – including psychological and counselling services – and vaccines to Syrians in need. More than 2,900 schools in Syria have been damaged by violence.
Despite generous contributions so far, without additional urgent funding, UNICEF and partners will face enormous challenges to assist children and families in the coming months.
Since Kim joined UNICEF she has been a champion for children’s rights. Her activities include recording a television appeal after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
She also recorded a public service announcement reminding the world to live up to its promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Kim has donated her prize money from the World Figure Skating Championships to children affected by the Japanese earthquake in 2011 and after her recent victory in the World Figure Skating Championship she donated her winnings to UNICEF for children with disabilities.
"It can be hard to grasp just how bad things are in Syria …
entering the third year of a brutal war.
Millions of children are paying a terrible price…
They're injured and they're dying…
They're without homes.
Without clean water.
The needs are enormous….
and UNICEF needs your help.
Do you care?
Help Unicef and help the children of Syria."
"시리아에서는 3년째 내전이 계속되고 있습니다.
수많은 어린이가 다치고 죽어갑니다.
집도, 학교도, 마실 물도 없습니다.
지금 시리아에는 필요한 것이 너무나 많습니다.
여러분이 이 아이들을 도와 주세요.
유니세프와 함께 시리아 어린이들에게 생명과 희망을 주세요."
Kim Yu-Na – South Korean, 22, Figure Skating (New)
An Olympic champion in a world of her own, Kim Yu-Na returned from a year’s hiatus in 2013 to re-establish herself as the most dominant of winter athletes. The South Korean reclaimed her ladies’ singles crown at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario in March by a margin unmatched since a new scoring system was introduced in 2004.
Still just 22, she has entranced a nation – and the international skating community – with remarkable technical skill and haunting poise. “The thing about Kim is that she has this ability to tell a story and take you with her,” said US champion Ashley Wagner, speaking to Sports Illustrated. “It’s so clean from start to finish.” That quality has brands in South Korea rapt, with Nike, Kookmin Bank, Korean Air, Hyundai and Samsung among those making her one of the world’s best-paid sportswomen. Forbes estimates her earnings at US$9 million a year.
It will be a huge loss to her sport if Kim steps away from competition as promised, this time for good, after her Olympic defence in Sochi next year. She then hopes to combine professional dancing with IOC membership, having served on the PyeongChang bid as the city secured the winter Olympics at the third attempt. A Unicef ambassador, a former entry on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people, and a philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to charity, she bears the image South Korea wants to present to the world ahead of 2018.