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PM, Celebs Lend A Hand To East Timor

MEDIA RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 5. 2005

PM, Celebs Lend A Hand To East Timor

Celebrity handprints go up for auction on TradeMe later this month…

Kiwis including Prime Minister Helen Clark, Dr Don Brash, the Bro’Town boys and Neil Finn are literally giving their hands to raising money to help children in East Timor.

New Zealanders Raybon Kan, Trelise Cooper, Kelly Swanson-Roe, Neil Finn, Oscar Kightley, Petra Bagust, Frankie Stevens, Jackie Clark, Paul Ellis, Jim Mora, Jude Dobson, leader of the opposition Dr Don Brash and Prime Minster Helen Clark have all linked up and put their handprint to paper in aid of the ChildFund New Zealand’s East Timor projects - as have the top dogs from Morningside, Bro’Town characters Sione, Mack, Jeff, Vale and Valea!

The famous autographed handprints go up for auction on the website TradeMe.co.nz from September 26 – October 3. All proceeds will go to ChildFund New Zealand, which will use the money to purchase new incubators for the Suai Hospital in East Timor.

The incubators cost approximately $25,000 each to purchase.

The auction is being held to mark the charity’s name change from CCF New Zealand to ChildFund New Zealand this month.

Paul Brown, National Director of ChildFund New Zealand, says the change is part of an international alignment under one joint name.

“Around the world, CCF is changing to ChildFund as this more closely reflects the work we do – helping children in need regardless of the creed, gender, race or national origin. New Zealand is one of the first countries to move to ChildFund,” says Paul.

This time of year is particularly poignant in East Timor, as September 6 marks the anniversary of the 1999 Suai massacre, when more than 200 people, including three priests, who had sought refuge in a church in the south-coast town were shot by the Indonesian military.

East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 50% of people living below the poverty line in rural areas.

ChildFund’s original work following the 1999 conflict was to assist ChildFund-enrolled families in rebuilding their lives in a newly formed country with the delivery of food, medicine and other emergency relief items to families.

ChildFund’s focus now, post the emergency relief stage, is to develop long-term sustainable change in each of the 15 projects it works in.

A new advertising campaign to launch ChildFund’s name change and annual sponsorship drive will air from September 11.

With the line “Helping kiwis touch the lives of children in need”, it features a different coloured handprint for each of the areas ChildFund channels aid into: health and sanitation, nutrition, early childhood development, micro enterprise development and education.

Celebrity handprints on www.trademe.co.nz – auction goes live midday September 26

ENDS

ABOUT CHILDFUND EAST TIMOR

ChildFund New Zealand is helping CCF East Timor to achieve its three main goals:
1) Reduce poverty
2) Improve health, education and the well-being of the children and their families
3) Promote growth that is equitable and sustainable

ChildFund’s East Timor projects (like all projects worldwide) are comprehensive, incorporating health, education; nutrition and livelihood interventions that sustainable protect, nurture and develop children.

ChildFund East Timor currently assists more than 55,000 children and families (helping a total of 250,000 people).

ChildFund New Zealand’s goal is to help CCF East Timor achieve long term sustainable change in the two projects that ChildFund New Zealand sponsors. These two projects have been picked as they fall within some of the poorest areas of East Timor, and one in particular (Graca) based in Suai is particularly relevant to New Zealand as it was where the NZ Defence Force was based and had the most impact.

ChildFund currently is helping communities to restore critical infrastructure, such as constructing and repairing drinking water systems, wells and sanitation systems destroyed in the 1999 violence. As well as providing pre-school education, medical clinics in rural areas, food-security programs, feeding programs for malnourished children, and micro-enterprise development programs for adults.

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