Press Release – UNICEF
Kiwi kids are rallying behind UNICEF NZ’s (UN Children’s Fund) Horn of Africa Appeal. Generous young people across New Zealand have been baking cakes, creating artwork and emptying piggy banks to raise funds for the millions of children suffering in the Horn of Africa.
Freedom Walsh, 10, who attends Snells Beach School in Warkworth, was so moved by the crisis in Africa that he painted a picture of hope which raised over $100 on Trade Me.
Nadeka Walsh, Freedom’s mother, said “We saw a story on the news about the famine. Freedom was sad to see so many very hungry and sick children and wanted to help. He asked if he could paint a picture and put it on TradeMe, so we said that we would buy him the paints and canvas if he wanted to do that – we wanted to support this in any way we could.”
Freedom’s parents Nadeka and Brent Walsh recently relocated the family to Warkworth from Christchurch after the February earthquake. Mrs Walsh said she and her husband do their best to set an example for their children. “We really hope Freedom’s effort to help the children in Africa encourages others to do the same.”
Six students from Diocesan School in Auckland have created a line of bracelets, simply entitled RICE, as a part of Young Enterprise and are donating all profits to UNICEF NZ. They say their mission is simple, “We want our bracelets to be different, and we want them to mean something.”
In each hand-crafted bracelet is a grain of rice that is inscribed with the word hope, change or love. Ling Ling Yu, a member of the RICE team, said “We are so overwhelmed by the response our bracelets have received. Everyone has been so supportive.”
The entrepreneurial six have encountered nothing but success with their initiative and have even gained recognition and support from UNICEF NZ Ambassador Mike McRoberts, radio personalities Fletch and Vaughn and local band Audio Pilots.
Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ, said “Amid the flurry of relief efforts for the famine in the Horn of Africa, it is amazing to witness the generosity and dedication of these young New Zealanders fundraising in and outside of school grounds.”
New Zealand schools have also got creative in their fundraising efforts. Students from Paparoa Primary School in Christchurch have set to baking, making homemade ice-cream and lemonade to successfully raise more than $1000.
Fiona Patterson, teacher at Paparoa Primary school, said “The children have been working on a unit called ‘we’re all the same but different’. The context I chose was refugees so the children understood that we all have the same needs but our wants and lifestyles can differ. The TV news presented items on the Dadaab refugee camp showing UNICEF workers in action. It was the children that wanted to make a difference to the children at the Dadaab refugee camp and asked to do some kind of fundraising.”
Ms Patterson said the fundraising ideas came directly from the students. She said the experience has been eye-opening and her students have come away with a greater empathy for the children suffering in Africa.
“During our refugee unit, the children related the anxieties and fear that refugee children experience to what they have experienced during the earthquakes. They are much more aware of the needs of survival.”
Students from Rangi Ruru Girls’ School have also united to raise funds for Africa. Having suffered extensive damage to the school in the February earthquake, the Rangi Ruru girls have retained their generosity of spirit by launching an 8 week long appeal for the UNICEF.
UNICEF NZ also gives special thanks to schools around New Zealand that are generously helping aid relief efforts in East Africa including Baradene College, Beach Haven Primary School, Hutt Valley High School, Milson Primary School and Kohia School.
As McKinlay adds, the efforts of schools and young people across New Zealand are saving lives, “The drought in East Africa might seem too huge for us to be able to make a difference, but small amounts of money do make a big difference – $40 vaccinates 100 children against measles and packets of therapeutic foods which can bring a malnourished child back from the bring cost only 70c each. So, every dollar really does count.”
UNICEF NZ continues to need funds to reach malnourished children in Southern Somalia and other countries in need in East Africa. Please donate now at www.unicef.org.nz or call 0800 800 194.