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ChildFund supporter cycling the length of NZ

19 April 2006

ChildFund supporter cycling the length of New Zealand for East Timor starts the journey

On Friday long-time ChildFund supporter Rob Brangwin will begin to cycle the length of New Zealand, a journey of 2,400 kilometres, to raise money for the children of East Timor and encourage more New Zealanders to consider child sponsorship.

Rob expects to take about a month to cycle from Cape Reinga to the Bluff. He hopes to raise $15,000 for the Graca area of East Timor which is home to one of the two children he sponsors through ChildFund New Zealand.

Rob begins his journey from the Cape on April 21 and aims to make it to Bluff by May 22. He is carrying two pannier bags of supplies and will ride for 4-5 hours, or about 100 kilometres, each day. Volunteer host families have agreed to accommodate him in every town, and at each stop he will spend time talking to locals about how real Kiwis can make a real difference through ChildFund child sponsorships.

"While I'm looking forward to seeing a whole different side of New Zealand, my main purpose is to encourage Kiwis to get behind ChildFund and particularly the work it is doing in East Timor. This is the best way I think of to encourage support for what is an incredibly deserving cause," says Rob.

"In East Timor one in seven children under the age of five die from preventable diseases, only about half the population has access to safe water and about half of the children under five are affected by malnutrition. There is also widespread child labour. Almost 20 percent of children aged between five and 14 are working," says Rob.

"I know that through sponsoring Jorjinha* in Graca I've been able to help make a real difference to her life. With my contribution and those of others, ChildFund has established health clinics, immunisation programmes, proper sanitation, water wells and education programmes."

People wanting to support Rob in his North to South ride for the children of East Timor can make a donation via credit card by calling ChildFund on 0800 808 822. Alternatively donations can be made at any branch of Kiwibank (account number 38-9004-0853036-00). To find out more about becoming a child sponsor see www.childfund.org.nz .

Rob's planned itinerary is as follows:

Kaitaia 21 April Kawakawa 22 April Whangarei 23 April Warkworth 24 April Auckland 25 & 26 April Hamilton 27 April Rotorua 28 April Taupo 29 April Waiouru 30 April Bulls 1 May Shannon 2 May Paraparaumu 3 May Wellington 4 & 5 May Blenheim 6 May Kaikoura 7 May Cheviot 8 May Christchurch 9 & 10 May Ashburton 11 May Timaru 12 May Lake Tekapo 13 May Omarama 14 May Oamaru 15 May Palmerston 16 May Dunedin 17 May Balclutha 18 May Gore 19 May Invercargill 20 May Bluff 21 May

*Pronounced "Georgina"

Fast Facts:

* Rob Brangwin's journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff is over 2,400 kilometres, and will take approximately 30 days to complete on cycle - beginning April 21 and arriving to Bluff by May 22. * He'll cycle 4-5 hours, or approximately 100 kilometres each day, for 30 days. * Rob is riding to raise awareness of ChildFund child sponsorship and raise money for ChildFund's Graca project in East Timor, where he has sponsored a child for many years.

Further information:

Rob can be contacted for media interviews on 021 063 1145. Check www.childfund.org.nz for updates on his journey.

For more information on Rob's ride please contact Sarah Walker, ChildFund New Zealand on 09 9660868 or 021 511330.

For further information about ChildFund please contact Paul Brown, ChildFund New Zealand, National Director, on 09 966 0864 or 0275 566 196

To make a donation:

* Call ChildFund on 0800 808 822 to make a credit card donation

* Make a donation at any Kiwibank Branch (account number 38-9004-0853036-00)
* Rob will be accepting cash donations as he travels down the country, depositing them into the Kiwibank account along the way.

To become a ChildFund child sponsor:

* Visit the ChildFund website www.childfund.org.nz


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