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Art Event Marks First World Colouring Day

Art Event Marks First World Colouring Day

New Zealand primary schools and holiday programmes are lining up to take part in a global art initiative to mark the first World Kids Colouring Day, being run in partnership with Save the Children and STAEDTLER NZ.

On May 6 students throughout New Zealand and the world will be calling for sponsors, or trading their personalised artworks at auctions, to help create a better life for children whose lives have been affected by conflict.

The money they raise through the drawings they produce will go towards Save the Children's Rewrite the Future education programmes which support efforts to give underprivileged children the chance of a quality education and an escape from poverty.

It will be used to help the millions of families in Colombia who have been forced to flee their homes during the country's 15 years of internal armed struggle,
and give children like 10-year-old Margarita hope for the future.

Margarita and her mother had to leave their family farm when her father was killed, making her one of more than a million Colombian children unable to continue their schooling because of violence, displacement and poverty

Save the Children's programmes have helped Margarita to settle into a new school, with new friends. "My teachers are helping me to have new dreams," she says.

John Bowis, Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand says: "During the past 15 years, more than three million Colombians, many of whom are children and women have been forced to flee their homes. Around 14,000 youngsters have been recruited by illegal armed groups, further fuelling the conflict.

"Save the Children is working to reduce the impact of prolonged cyclical violence in Columbia, and ensure that children like Margarita get access to and complete their primary education.

"We also help to improve the quality of that education by working with children, teachers, parents and local authorities to improve infrastructure, provide teacher training and materials, promote child and community participation, strengthen the capacity of schools to protect children, and advocate for increased expenditure by governments for quality education in the public school system."

Save the Children is committed to raising more than US$6.8 million (NZ$8.4 million) to help children and young people in Colombia. This year's World Kids Colouring Day, run in partnership with STAEDTLER NZ, will help us reach that target.

If your local school or holiday programme has not yet joined this global initiative, there's still time.

Teachers and parents are encouraged to talk to their schools and holiday programme organisers about colouring activities, and come up with a novel way of selling pictures to families and friends on May 6. Schools and holiday programmes can register at contact@world-kids-colouring-day.co.nz. They will receive starter packs of colouring books, pencils, posters and information.

Ideas and suggestions on ways to fundraise can be found at:
www.world-kids-colouring-day.co.nz.
To find out more about the Rewrite the Future Programme in Colombia, and the work of Save the Children, visit:
www.savethechildren.org.nz/new_zealand/rewritethefuture/where/colombia.html

STAEDTLER NZ is also offering prizes to those that raise the most funds.

[ends]

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