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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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12/24/2006 | 03:19 PM
Hi Roger,

Congratulation for your first task as a UNICEF ambassador. It' s always touching me to see you working for the other people....thank you for your warm hart! That makes me also happy and warm.
I wish you and Mirka a smashing Christmas.......
12/24/2006 | 02:20 PM
Rogi,Merry Christmas!
12/24/2006 | 01:50 PM
dearest rog,

what can I say.....you are just so amazing,I love you and so proud of being your fan.

And wish a merry christmas and happy new year!!
Good luck next year!
love and kisses

12/24/2006 | 12:14 PM
I watched this news on Eurosport this morning and I must say that what Rogi and Mirka do, to visit the tsunami-affected children, is something very valuable. I think they visit them in the name of all the people around the world who can't have the chance
12/24/2006 | 12:09 PM
Roger that i didn't wish you early. but it doesn't matter i am there 2 admire you for what ever you do. Till the world exits remember that there is someone who will always remember you. good bye :-)
12/24/2006 | 10:42 AM
I heard your interview in the middle of the night!! Well done for taking the time to help others.
I received my Federbear two days ago but my pc has been out so couldn't write. He is absolutely ADORABLE!! Rather like his model!
Very best wishes f
12/24/2006 | 10:31 AM
Dear Roger
It is just awesome to hav u here rogi.
Jus Wish u play in chennai open one day!
Plz come to chennai roger.
This is our Humble request.
I saw u in tv(u were the hot news in our news channels)& ur interview was so sweet)N i guess u enjoye
12/24/2006 | 10:20 AM
Dear Roger and Mirka, Wish you Merry X'mas!

12/24/2006 | 10:08 AM
Dear Roger,
I think that you are a big champion because not only you are the most strong tennis player but because you are a special person in all you do.
Merry christmas and happy new yaer, Rogi.
Bye Bye
P.S.sorry for my english
12/24/2006 | 10:06 AM
Thanks to Mirka as well for accompanying you!!!