Veteran performer Gary Valenciano and actress-host Anne Curtis expressed excitement over the prospect of supporting and empowering vulnerable children by partnering with an organization.
The two celebrities signed a contract on Thursday, June 1, renewing their commitment as national ambassadors of the Philippine branch of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Gary has been with the global child rights agency since 1998 and is the first UNICEF Philippines national ambassador.
Anne, meanwhile, has been engaging with the humanitarian organization since 2009. She started as a donor and became a celebrity advocate for children in 2015.
Four years later, the actress was appointed as national ambassador as well.
Anne shared on Instagram how much the ambassadorship means to her, especially now that she is also a parent who cares for a child.
“Being a UNICEF Philippines National Ambassador is a responsibility I hold close to my heart,” she said on Friday, June 2.
“As you all know, I’ve always been passionate about helping children whenever I can, and when I became a mother, I’ve come to an even greater realization of how important it is to protect and uphold the rights of children, especially those who are most vulnerable,” the actress added.
“Thank you, my @unicefphils family, for giving me the opportunity to continue lending my voice the best way I know how #ForEveryChild,” Anne further said.
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Anne has previously raised funds for the org through her fun runs, marathons, and her daughter Dahlia’s first birthday.
She also strongly supported UNICEF’s First 1,000 Days campaign and wrote a children’s book on believing in oneself, namely “Anita the Duckling Diva.”
“As a mom, when I think of giving the best for my child, I also wish the same for all children in the Philippines,” the actress said during her ambassadorship renewal.
“That is why it’s important for me to be involved with UNICEF because children deserve all the support they need to grow and develop. I’m excited to meet children and learn from other parents through my work with UNICEF,” Anne added.
The actress said she will be active in advocating for children’s immunization and championing early childhood education.
She also said she could “hopefully encourage parents not to be afraid” to vaccinate their children against diseases, especially as the global community continues to deal with a pandemic.
Meanwhile, Gary also expressed his elation about helping children anew with his co-ambassador.
“What a memorable time this was for me,” he said in an Instagram Story on June 1. The post featured him signing his contract with the humanitarian org.
“Ready to continue my endeavors with @unicefphils [heart emoji] So happy to be in this with @annecurtissmith,” the performer added.
According to the singer, he is “excited” to help children.
“UNICEF has been a part of my life’s journey. Every child I meet in my field visits always has a story to tell,” Gary shared.
In his 25-year stint as a national ambassador, he has traveled all over the Philippines to learn about the situation of children, has advocated for their rights, and raised funds for the org.
“I take those stories with me as I renew my partnership with UNICEF,” the performer said.
In the 90s, Gary was the face of the org’s Child-Friendly Movement, a movement that made people talk about, understand, believe in, and take action for children’s rights.
For his ambassadorship, he said he will “help kids have proper education.”
“Mr. Pure Energy” will back the org’s initiatives around learning recovery and increasing the engagement of parents as they support children to catch up with their lessons in school.
UNICEF is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.
It advocates for children’s rights, and supports and empowers disadvantaged children and adolescents through various initiatives.