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Save the Children NZ announces a record year

Save the Children New Zealand will reflect on its achievements over the past year at their 60th Annual General Meeting which runs from 7 - 9 November 2008.

The organisation celebrates a record income year achieving a total annual income of just over $15 million the opportunity to provide more funding dedicated to improving the lives of children around the globe.

Other milestones include the two-year anniversary of Rewrite the Future, Save the Children's first-ever global campaign which has brought quality education to more than 5.7 million children living in conflict-affected states.

Save the Children New Zealand also acknowledges the positive impact of their emergency work in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Mozambique, China, South Asia in the last year. The organisation's immediate response to emergencies as a result of conflict and natural disasters is a key component in making sure that the world is a safer place for all children.

Executive Director, John Bowis says: "Save the Children New Zealand has had an incredible year. In New Zealand we have increased awareness of children's rights through our advocacy work. As a global organisation we are making lasting changes to children's lives with our campaign Rewrite the Future, and similar sustainable programmes, and our work in emergencies ensures that children are protected in times of crisis situations."

New Zealand staff and volunteers will hear more about such activities first-hand from three keynote speakers who will attend the AGM:

• Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, the Secretary General of the International Save the Children Alliance

• Jay Wisecarver, the Child Rights Programming Advisor of Save the Children Sweden

• Michael Fletcher, co-author of A Fair go for all children, Actions to address child poverty in New Zealand.

The AGM also marks a time of reflection as John Bowis retires from his role after 21 years working for Save the Children New Zealand.

"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to spend half of my working life in such a challenging and rewarding role and to have enjoyed the support of some very capable and dedicated colleagues and committed volunteer supporters and donors," says Mr. Bowis.

Save the Children New Zealand's Annual Report which lists further achievements and also financial statements for the period of 2007 - 2008 will be available from Monday 10 November.

Notes to the editor:

• John Bowis, Executive Director will retire from his role on Monday 10 November after working 21 years for the organisation. Mr. Bowis' achievements include establishing the Save the Children New Zealand programme in Papua New Guinea and initiating a successful community sponsorship scheme in India. He also set up the head office team in Wellington which now has a staff of 25.

• Interview options and bios on keynote speakers
Charlotte Petri Gornitzka is the Secretary General of the International Save the Children Alliance and leads the implementation of Save the Children's global strategy and the co-ordination of the 28 members of the International Alliance. Ms Gornitzka visited Banda Aceh, Indonesia three weeks after the tsunami hit, has worked with child soldiers in Northern Uganda, and has also established relationships with some of the world's most powerful voices like Kofi Annan.

Jay Wisecarver is the Child Rights Programming Advisor of Save the Children Sweden, based in Bangkok. Save the Children applies child rights principles over all its programmes with emphasis on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Mr Wisecarver's teaching of child rights puts the UNCRC message into concrete practice.

Michael Fletcher is a Public Policy Researcher from Wellington, New Zealand. He is the co-author of A Fair go for all children, Actions to address child poverty in New Zealand. This paper documents that 22 percent of New Zealand's children are living in unacceptable poverty. He also is able to talk about the current economic crisis and how that will impact New Zealand children.


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