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Three top scholars win trip to Mongolia

Three top scholars win trip to Mongolia

Three New Zealand high school students have won a Sanitarium-funded travelling scholarship to visit Mongolia with World Vision, after an intensive week in Wellington this week.

The trio are: Betheli Calvert, 16, Kingsway School, Orewa; Chloe Murcott, 18, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Hamilton; Hyun Myung Kim, 17, Westlake Boys' High School, North Shore.

The three scholars will travel to Mongolia in September to see World Vision's work among impoverished communities. They will visit 40 Hour Famine-funded projects such as the Mongolia Street Children project, and a Community Care project for mentally disabled children in the capital city Ulaanbataar.

The three were chosen from 21 students who were selected from the top 40 Hour Famine fundraising schools from around the country to attend the Sanitarium scholarship week in Wellington this week (July 18 - 22). Each of the 21 high schools had the opportunity to select a student based on their leadership skills and ability to organise and promote the 40 Hour Famine within their school.

The 21 finalists spent this week learning more about aid and development, New Zealand foreign policy, and policies towards children. They met with the Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Silvia Cartwright, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Phil Goff.

They also visited organisations, Dev-Zone (Global Education Centre), NZ Aid, and the Council for International Development. Roger McClay, former Commissioner of Children, announced the three travelling scholars at the Awards Dinner held at The Wellesley Hotel this evening. Scholars were chosen on the basis of an essay and interviews with World Vision staff over the past week.

Mr McClay said the Sanitarium Scholars are being given an opportunity to widen their horizons "given the excellent start in life they've got".

"They'll go on to be world-beaters and the experience will dramatically influence their lives."

It is the 22nd anniversary of the Sanitarium Health Food Company sponsoring scholars to travel to the developing world. Mark Roper, Sanitarium's Marketing manager said at last night's event that the partnership gives an opportunity to expose Kiwi young people to the plight of others less fortunate.

"This scholars week is a highlight in our calendar and it's exciting to hear the thoughts and dreams of these young people and their desire to inspire others. We encourage them to take away their impressions of this week, to think on them, and to share their inspirations with other people in their communities."

This year's 40 Hour Famine held in March has so far raised $2.8 million.


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