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Yao Chen visits Lebanon to raise awareness of refugees

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-05-22 15:45:15

Yao Chen visits Lebanon to raise awareness of refugees

Photo by Tony Zhao for China Daily

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Yao, who has 68 million followers on Weibo - much more than American singer Katy Perry on twitter - paid a visit to Lebanon from Monday to Wednesday in a bid to raise awareness of refugee issues especially in the Chinese-speaking world.

"My job is to pass the message," she told UNHCR staff. "I don't know about other countries, but in China, people living in peacetime only have a vague idea of what it means to be a refugee."

Deeply moved by the scenes in Ras el-Ein settlement, where more than 330 refugees live in makeshift tents or ramshackle apartment blocks without running water, the 34-year-old Chinese actress, a mother of a ten-month-old, hugged a four-year-old child.

"A total of 8,607 children died in the Syrian civil war. More than half of the refugees in Lebanon are children," Yao wrote on her Weibo account.

"During the war, some children suffered atrocities, some were even used as human shields. They were victims of the war. They lost home, families and hope for the future because of war," she added.

At a school the UN refugee agency built for Syrian refugees, Yao presented stationery specially prepared for the children.

"What is your biggest wish?" She asked the kids.

"I hope when I go back to my hometown, everything is the same as before," a boy said.

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