• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:27am

Lend a helping hand

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 12:00am

Young Envoys of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) were urged by mainland pianist Lang Lang to share their fortunes with their less privileged counterparts.

Lang, 22, the youngest Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, took part in his first field mission last August.

He visited Tanzania, Africa, to get a first-hand look at Unicef-sponsored facilities in the capital Dar es Salaam, Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

During the five-day trip, Lang found out that malaria posed a huge threat to African children and saw how Unicef was helping people improve their living conditions.

He shared his experiences with a group of Unicef Young Leaders and Young Envoys last Sunday.

'I was told that malaria was the number one killer in Africa and Aids was second,' said the Shenyang -born Lang.

'In Africa, 3,000 children die from malaria every day. It's just not fair.'

The classical musician surprised the young audience with his energetic approach. He used body language and facial expressions to get his message across.

'I've met the children there. They had really beautiful faces and eyes. They could have been Hollywood stars if they were in the United States,' Lang said. 'The malaria vaccine only costs two US dollars, while a mosquito net is only one US dollar. But they cannot afford them.'

Lang has won many competitions, including the Fourth International Young Pianists Competition in Germany and the first prize at the Second Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians' Competition in 1995 in Japan.

He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg, the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He was also named Instrumentalist of the Year at the German ECHO Award last year.

Lang was also among Teen People's Top 20 Teens Who Will Change the World.

Lang said he wanted to use some of his fortunes to help others and make the world a better place. 'I am very lucky to have what I have now. I want to give back to society,' he said.

'There are many talented children but they may not be as lucky as we are. We can help them realise their potential.

'We can also find out what these people need. Write to the government and big companies and raise their awareness of the needy.'

Lang encouraged the Unicef Young Leaders and Young Envoys, who will be going on field trips to Shaanxi and Cambodia later this year, to share their experiences with their friends and ask them to help the underprivileged.

Leading by example, Lang donated the lucky money he received from a Unicef official.


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive




SCMP.com Account