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UNICEF successfully launches Tap Project in NZ

Media Release
June 5, 2008

UNICEF successfully launches Tap Project in New Zealand

Earlier this year, UNICEF New Zealand embarked on the Tap Project campaign to get New Zealanders to recognise how fortunate they are to have access to clean water and help raise money for UNICEF water projects in developing countries where more than 1 billion people do not have access to safe water.

During Tap Week, 5 – 11 April, over 100 of the country’s top restaurants took part in an awareness programme, inviting diners to donate a minimum of $1 for the tap water they normally enjoy for free.

Money raised will provide 24,000 children safe drinking water for thirty days.

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director of UNICEF NZ, says the objective for this year was to build the profile of Tap Project with restaurants and diners around the country and establish it as an annual fundraising campaign in New Zealand to contribute money towards UNICEF water projects.

“Tap Project was a reminder of the need to re-double our efforts to help save children’s lives through the simple intervention of clean water and sanitation.”

“We’re delighted with the involvement from restaurants in this first year and we look forward to growing the campaign next year. They played an important role in raising the profile for the Tap Project during Tap Week,” says McKinlay.

Among the 100 plus restaurants which took part in raising money for Tap Project, Cibo restaurant, Maitre dé, Jeremy Turner says “We received a very positive response from diners during Tap Week and would be glad to participate next year. It’s a very worthwhile cause.”

Another of the restaurants to take part was Q restaurant at The Westin, Auckland. Executive Club Supervisor, Doug Bollen commented “it’s a great initiative and our staff became very involved and passionate about the campaign. We look forward to 2009.”

UNICEF NZ Ambassadors, TV personalities Alison Mau and Mike McRoberts fronted this year’s Tap Project.

“New Zealanders are very fortunate to have access to clean water and their donations can make a world of difference to children all around the world,” says Mau.

Millions of women and girls in developing countries spend many hours a day walking up to 10km to collect water for their families to drink, cook and wash. This water is frequently contaminated and just continues the cycle of family illness. The time spent fetching water also means that women cannot perform income generating activities and girl children are unable to attend school.

Next year, UNICEF New Zealand is looking forward to encouraging Kiwis to help expand the Tap Project campaign.

“We would like to look at ways to work more closely with schools and corporates in 2009 to raise more funds for children around the world who do not have access to clean water,” adds McKinlay.


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