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Three top Famine scholars win trip to Vanuatu

July 07, 2006

Three top Famine scholars win trip to Vanuatu

Three New Zealand high school students, last night at an Awards Dinner in Wellington, won Sanitarium-funded travelling scholarships to visit Vanuatu with World Vision, after an intensive week in the capital this week.

The trio are: Tim Armstrong, Bethlehem College, Tauranga; Anna Morey, Waikato Diocesan, Hamilton; Felicity Jansonius, New Plymouth Girls High School, Taranaki.

The three were chosen from 20 students who were selected from top performing 40 Hour Famine fundraising schools from around the country to attend the Sanitarium Senior Scholarship week in Wellington this week (July 3 – 7). They have spent the week meeting ministers, visiting development organisations and developing their own leadership skills.

17-year-old Chris Jupp of Wellington College was among the 20 students, as well as Lucy Kelly (17) of Tawa College and Sophie Curtis (17) of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School.

Talking about youth suicide at the Children's Commission stood out to Chris Jupp: "We were talking about it with people that it actually mattered to; having the people who actually work in this area hear what we had to say was pretty cool. It's like you're actually being heard for a change!"

Lucy said hearing about Vanuatu was eye opening: "We don't realise how bad the poverty is there."

The three scholars who won the travelling scholarships will travel to Vanuatu in the September school holidays to see World Vision's work among impoverished communities. They will visit 40 Hour Famine-funded projects such as the Tafea Community Development project that focuses on healthcare, water and sanitation, as well as the Traditional Food and Education project for children.

It is the 23rd anniversary of the Sanitarium Health Food Company sponsoring scholars to travel to the developing world – the scholarship programme began in 1983. Sanitarium Marketing Manager, Mark Roper, says the company takes a keen interest in developing the young leaders in New Zealand.

"For us these scholars are a source of inspiration – listening to their enthusiasm, their thoughts and dreams. That's what the long-term partnership with World Vision is about; encouraging these students to take those thoughts and dreams and turn them into a reality. That's what the travelling scholarship is about and that's what we as Sanitarium are supportive of," says Mr Roper.

World Vision Marketing Director, Bruce Waldin, says the Sanitarium scholarship programme gives New Zealand students the chance to visit World Vision projects overseas to learn how aid can help the poor.

"This is an opportunity for New Zealand secondary students to see, first hand, the difference their schools' fundraising makes in people's lives. Students come away from these trips with a huge amount of enthusiasm for helping the poor and a great sense of pride in what their hard work has achieved," says Mr Waldin.

This year's 40 Hour Famine held in March has so far raised $2.58 million.


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