Movie star, a very popular figure on sina twitter, know as the “Twitter Queen”
With the help of the UNHCR Manila Office, Yao Chen visited the Philippines and met refugees there on 5-8 June 2010.
She traveled with mainland and Hong Kong reporters to have a close look at refugee situation and what UNHCR was doing.
Yao Chen was impressed by the refugee’ perseverance and determination to fulfill their dreams and pass on their hopes to the next generation. She met a refugee who said that he hoped his son would eventually become a congressman in the Philippines. “The sky is the limit to what can be achieved,” Yao Chen said.
She was fully committed and showed great compassion for refugees. She spoke to refugees with genuine interest and respect.
On 20 June, World Refugee Day, UNHCR was in spotlight at the Expo. The Refugee Agency invited Yao Chen, Honorary Patron for China, to attend a panel discussion at the UN Pavilion from 1030 to 1130 to discuss her recent mission to the Philippines. The discussion was facilitated by the famous TV Anchor Chen Chen from Dragon TV – the nationwide satellite TV station based in Shanghai.
The panel discussion with Yao Chen on the 20 June was a great success, with enormous media attention and public interest. Yao Chen talked to a live audience about her visit, her findings and feelings. At the end of the discussion, UNHCR organized a ceremony and she was presented with a plaque by the Regional Representative formally recognizing her year-long role.
2010: Media coverage and public awareness building
The media coverage around WRD was remarkable. The first coverage ran on 5 June when Yao Chen embarked on her trip to the Philippines. Throughout her mission she was sharing her thoughts and feelings and uploading photos. There was a lot of media attention – on-line, electronic and printed media. Several media partners went on the mission to the Philippines which helped drive coverage. UNHCR invited sohu.com, a major internet company, to join the field visit. Sohu.com put up a feature photo story on 7 June, triggering great public attention and numerous re-runs of the story on other online sites. UNHCR produced a 7-min video after the Philippines field visit and put it on sina.com and sohu.com. The media attention reached its peak on 20 June, with coverage of UNHCR, Yao Chen, World Refugee Day appearing across all major media channels. Yao Chen’s company also organized coverage in fashion magazines, TV entertainment channels, etc. As a result, public awareness in China about refugees and related issues was greatly raised.