Kiwi Chicks, The Far North & Children With Autism Among Those To Get A Hand Up
Six passionate New Zealanders are free to live out their dream, thanks to the World of Difference programme run by the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation.
The winners of this year’s programme support a diverse range of charities from providing support and advocacy for young queer people to developing and implementing an art therapy programme to help children with cancer.
Winners have their salary and expenses paid by the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation for a full year, giving them the financial freedom to work full-time for the charity of their choice.
The 2004 winners of the World of Difference programme are: Ricky Houghton from Kaitaia for the He Korowai Trust – providing assistance with economic development, housing/tenancy services, addiction services and advocacy for people in the far North of New Zealand. Dr. Debbie Fewtrell from Keri Keri for Autism Spectrum Disorder Kids Community Trust – developing a cohesive biomedical model of autism in NZ so that autistic children and their families can benefit from this approach (without the constraints of travelling to the US) Stephen Denekamp from Auckland for Rainbow Youth Trust – providing support, contact and advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Takataapui and Fa’afafine young people and their families. Joanne Thorne from Ohakune for Bushy Park Trust – conserving the western North Island brown kiwi as part of the Operation Nest Egg programme in the Waitotara valley and establishing a kiwi crèche within Bushy Park; Tracey Richardson from Napier for Breath4CF – raising funds for sporting equipment for children with cystic fibrosis, enabling them to live active lives; and Diana Hickey from Christchurch for the Child Cancer Foundation – developing the use of art therapy to aid children with cancer with recovery and acceptance of their illness.
Richard Browning, board member of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation says the Foundation made the decision to choose six winners, rather than four as in previous years.
“We made this decision because we were so impressed with the quality of our finalists – we just couldn’t narrow it down to only four winners. It’s a 50% increase in our contribution, we think it’s worth it to place these amazing people where they can really make a difference” he says.
“We feel that by enabling our six winners to concentrate full time on the charities they’re supporting, they’ll be able to achieve in 12 months what might take them years to achieve on a part time basis.
“We had hundreds of entries this year and the standard was higher than ever. The winners are chosen on the basis of their passion, the skills they can bring to their nominated charity, and their ongoing commitment to the charity” he says.
The World of Difference programme began two years ago, and to date eight New Zealanders have been empowered to put their passion into action working for the charity of their choice.
The winners will take over their new roles in early 2005.
To find out more about the World of Difference programme please go to www.vodafonenzfoundation.org.nz