Jackie Chan: Kung-Fu warrior, film star… aid worker?

Published: 10 June 2015 16:38 CET

You’ve seen him blitzing bad guys and leaping from buildings – now see movie star Jackie Chan in a whole new role.

The screen legend has visited Nepal, giving out Red Cross aid in Kathmandu’s Lalitpur district.

So what links the Rush Hour star and the world’s largest humanitarian Movement?

Chan explains: “When I was a young schoolboy at the Beijing Opera Academy in Hong Kong, I was very poor and yearned for some of the most basic things in life.

“My fellow students were in similar need and it was at this time that a representative from the Red Cross arrived, bringing us supplies. My classmates and I were so grateful and touched and I vowed to always remember this generosity.”

He has credited the moment with inspiring him to set up his own charities. And now he’s a committed supporter of the Red Cross.

Nepal still needs help

Of course, Chan is not just in Nepal offering an extra pair of hands – the real reason he’s visiting is to keep the disaster in the spotlight. While media coverage of the disaster ebbs away, the problems faced by the people of Nepal are still huge. Millions are homeless, in need of healthcare or unable to access clean water.

With the powerful rains of the monsoon season on their way, there is a huge need for support – both short-term help such as food and tarpaulins, and long-term assistance to rebuild the country.

The Nepal Red Cross Society was a strong presence in communities before the earthquake with preparedness programmes and education, and has been active across the country since. The close connection with communities also means the society has pledged to remain well beyond the life of the media lens, but is appealing for more support to continue to help vulnerable communities rebuild their homes and lives.