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2009 White Poppy Annual Appeal

White Poppies for Peace

17 April 2009

2009 White Poppy Annual Appeal and Peace Scholarships

From 2009, the White Poppy Annual Appeal is being held from 17 to 24 April, with all proceeds going to the new White Poppy Peace Scholarships.

This message has information about the white poppy, the White Poppy Peace Scholarships, how you can support the peace scholarships, and where you can get white poppies - during the Appeal, and at any time of the year. This information is online at http://www.whitepoppy.org.nz

* About the white poppy

The white poppy is a symbol of remembrance for all the casualties of war, civilians and armed forces personnel, and of peace. Some people see it as an alternative to the red poppy, others see it as complementary; some choose to wear both poppies, some one or the other, and some no poppy at all.

So far as is known, white poppies were first produced by the Co-operative Women's Guild in Britain in 1933, and later their annual distribution was undertaken by the Peace Pledge Union. In subsequent years, white poppies spread to other countries around the globe, and the white poppy became an international symbol of remembrance and peace.

How and when white poppies first came to Aotearoa New Zealand is unknown, but certainly they have been worn around ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day in the past. In recent years, the annual white poppy appeal was run as a fundraiser for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament around the time of Hiroshima Day in August.

Responsibility for organising the annual appeal was transferred to Peace Movement Aotearoa, as part of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's closing down process in 2008, on the understanding that:
 it would revert from August to April, around the time of ANZAC Day. This was in response to requests from Peace Movement Aotearoa members and member organisations over the years to change the time of the appeal to be more in keeping with the original (and ongoing) message of white poppies; and
it would be a national appeal from 2009 with the proceeds going to the new White Poppy Peace Scholarships.
* About the White Poppy Peace Scholarships

The White Poppy Peace Scholarships comprise two grants which will be awarded each year to assist with research into alternatives to militarism and war, and / or collective non-violent responses to state violence. The scholarships are for students studying at any tertiary educational institution, wananga or university, in Aotearoa New Zealand. Each grant will be a minimum of $1,000; with one awarded to a Maori student, and one open to any student.

Applications for the first White Poppy Peace Scholarships will open on 21 September 2009, the International Day of Peace, for research during the 2010 academic year.

* How you can support the peace scholarships

The White Poppy Peace Scholarships are entirely funded by the White Poppy Annual Appeal and donations given at other times. The amount of the grants awarded each year will be determined by the amount raised during the Appeal and donations received by the beginning of September.

You can support the peace scholarships by making a donation during the Appeal or at any time during the year - your generosity will help to promote peace by directly supporting research into alternatives to militarism and war, and collective non-violent responses to state violence.

To make a donation by cheque, please use the form available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/poppiesform.pdf; if you would prefer to make a donation by direct credit or internet banking, please contact us and we will provide the details for you - a receipt will be sent for all donations.

* Where you can get white poppies

You can get white poppies from an authorised collector during the week of the Appeal, or by post (see below) during the Appeal or at any time of the year. A limited number of 'Lest we forget: remembering peacemakers on ANZAC Day' bookmarks have been donated to the 2009 Appeal - these are available from each collector, and will be sent with postal orders (while stocks last).

Annual Appeal collection: 'White poppies for peace' collection boxes have now been distributed to collectors in different parts of the country, and there will be a street collection in Wellington on Thursday, 23 April - keep an eye out for the distinctive collection boxes with the 'White poppies for peace' graphic.

ends

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