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Roger Praises Progress in Tsunami-Affected District of India

23.12.2006 | Off Court

On his first official field trip as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Roger today met with tsunami-affected children in Tamil Nadu in southern India.


The December 2004 tsunami took the lives of over 200,000 people, with India accounting for 18,000 dead or missing.  One-third of the victims were children. Tamil Nadu was the hardest hit state, with 8,000 dead, 351 severely-damaged child care centers and 186 destroyed schools. Three days before the second anniversary of the tsunami, Roger visited UNICEF's recovery and rehabilitation programmes in Cuddalore, one of the worst affected districts of Tamil Nadu.


"It's amazing to see how young people are using the rebuilding process as an opportunity to improve their lives and strengthen their community," said Roger. "The way these children are bouncing back from even the toughest tragedy is a testament to their resiliency."


In Cuddalore, Roger met with children who have chairs and tables at school for the first time. Across the tsunami-hit districts of Tamil Nadu UNICEF has provided 330 schools with furniture and learning materials, which benefit around 140,000 children and 3,500 teachers. The improvements in their school include programmes to learn through participation rather than by rote and the use of puppet theatre to help them cope with post-tsunami trauma. Roger also met with UNICEF- trained early child care workers at one of the 351 restored government centres where pre-school children are able to get essential health care, nutrition supplements and informal early education. .


Along with District Collector Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Roger visited the Cuddalore Orphanage. UNICEF has helped to establish a tracking system to monitor around 2,000 children in Tamil Nadu who lost one or both parents in the tsunami, including those in the orphanage. As part of the tsunami psycho social support programme more than 114,000 children have been reached through counseling, art, puppetry and children's theatre.


"Many of the programmes we set up in the tsunami hit communities, such as education programmes and child protection interventions, will now serve as a model for the rest of the state to follow," said Thomas George, UNICEF State Representative, Tamil Nadu. "Our focus has been to improve equity to services and to truly build back better for the children of Tamil Nadu."


Roger’s day ended by meeting with teenagers who are learning about HIV through a life-skills programme that is giving them the practical information they need to make responsible decisions and spread awareness about the disease.


"It's great to see the young people so full of life and spirit. Despite what happened to their community, they have really managed to turn things around," said Roger.


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25.12.2006 | 19:58
Yeah, Roger, really nice of you. These people really suffered a lot, thousands of people died and many, many people lost their relatives... so, I really congratulate you for going there to visit and help them, because in these moments the only thing that
25.12.2006 | 18:26
Roger...u make us soo proud!! To take out time from what must be a rest period for u (since there's no tournament on currently) and to meet these kids was the nicest and most humble gesture ne1 could ever make!!
When i first heard of ur trip to India i
25.12.2006 | 18:22
hi roger!
u visited india 4 tsunami affected peoples.
i think i can imagen how they feel whn u meet thm,coz whn a peoples who hurting by the tsunami n other natural disasters they need someone who help thm out with thr problems,N u r the one how were t
25.12.2006 | 17:42
dear roger,
it wa soo great of u to come here despite ur heavy schedule....u really brought hope into those ppl lives....it was really a sweet surprise to see ur face here...u were the talk of the town...do visit us next time and dont forget to bring ur
25.12.2006 | 15:34
dear Roger
you have spent two full days with the children affected by sunami in Cuddalore in tamilnadu, india.i am deeply touched with your involvement wih the children whom you have made happy for the past two days.i am thilled to note that you have ind
25.12.2006 | 13:43
u are in INDIA. yahooooooooooo..
=====MERRY X MAS ROGI =============================== nice 2 see u here.
when i got 2 know about u visiting INDIA, i was spellbound...
though the journey was tiring u did a gr8 job
u r
25.12.2006 | 11:07
Dear Roger,
You'r a real champion
I am proud to be your fan
the smile is back on the faces of these children
and they 'll never forget this !
we love you
25.12.2006 | 10:20
Un vero signore:you're the number One on,and off court,too..............you are great!!! I Love You..!!! kisses from Italy.. =)
25.12.2006 | 10:05
Dearest my ROGER

A word “Tunami” is Japanese.
As the word's showing ,a lot of natural damages happen in Japan.

I also have received the damage of the earthquake in 1995 in KOBE.
Therefore, I understand fear of the natural damage.
I think that chi
25.12.2006 | 09:29
Dear Roger, Thanks for this wonderful story..its too easy to forget about the recovery of people and places after these sorts of disasters....you do a great job by visiting these children and inspiring everyone to remember what Xmas is supposed to be abou