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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 | 09:18
merry christmas,Roger!
25.12.2006 | 08:58
Hello Roger,

What a beautiful article to read on Christmas Eve. You are so wonderful to needy children and UNICEF. Thank you for being you.

Merry Christmas,
25.12.2006 | 03:09
Dear Roger
I've been and I will be so happy to be one of your fans.
24.12.2006 | 21:17

You are one person that has reached out and inspired soo many of us !

I am truly amazed that a person to whom I am a total stranger, has made a change in my attitude to a lot of things in Life !!!

Am dead sure so many more would agree...

24.12.2006 | 20:22
Hey guy,

Once, you have shown us you are more than the best tennis player of all the time, but a guy with a big heart and soul! The children appreciate you, we, fans, appreciate you, and mainly God appreciates you!

I wish you may achieve all the ble
24.12.2006 | 20:08
This is beautiful news!!!
The programs they set up for these childeren has his efect on it's hole community!!
They are doing a great job over there!!!!
Especaly the psycho social support programme
through counseling, art, puppetry and children's thea
24.12.2006 | 17:13
hi roger,
we, d ppl of india really appreciate ur attention over something tht is outside ur concern...thank you again.
24.12.2006 | 16:26
Dear Roger and Mirka:

Thank you for warming the chilled hearts and putting the smiles back to the children's faces! Great job! I love you both!

24.12.2006 | 15:42
You are so nice
I love you Roger
24.12.2006 | 15:41
hello roger
how ru
im really want
to gave
thank to
come india. im really glad that my idol is come to my countery
thanx a lot