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Kiwi in Kenya Wins International Volunteer Award

Media Release

Kiwi in Kenya Wins International Volunteer Award

New Plymouth, New Zealand (Tuesday 19 March 2013) - From a pool of over 20,000 international volunteers, Kenya-based Kiwi Marcus Gregar-Rive has been voted International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) Volunteer of the Year for his development of a sustainable feeding and education program for children living in Kenya’s slums.

After volunteering with the volunteer travel organisation, IVHQ, Marcus decided to pack up his life as a sales rep in Wellington, taking the leap to establish Kitendo Children’s Charity (KCC) Slum Project, an effective and functioning NGO in Kenya, which helps 150 children receive life essentials, including food and education.

Following an influx of hundreds of nominations, New Zealand-born Marcus Gregar-Rive was selected as one of ten finalists for the inaugural IVHQ Volunteer of the Year Award. Voting was open to the public for a period of two weeks and collected almost 12,000 votes, with Marcus picking up 30 per cent of the total votes.

Fellow Volunteer of the Year finalist and founder of Right 2 Thrive in Kenya, Janet Patry, posted to the KCC Slum Project Facebook page: “Congratulations Marcus! That was an incredible battle for IVHQ Volunteer of the Year! Thank you for your relentless efforts - you kept pushing us to try harder and dig deeper for new ideas. We are grateful to you! We know you'll do great things with the award money!”

As IVHQ Volunteer of the Year, Marcus has been awarded with a $2,500 donation for KCC Slum Project and an additional $2,500 to contribute towards his living expenses in Kenya.

“We are delighted to put this prize into African soil. The Board, management, staff, children and community, would like to extend an outstretched thank you to every single person from all corners of the world, who supported this campaign,” announced Marcus via Facebook.

The award money will be invested directly in a large sustainability project for KCC, which will boost funding for the projects and support the local labour force and economy through an investment in 17 acres of commercially productive farm land.

All IVHQ Volunteer of the Year finalists have been awarded with a donation for their projects, with the amount of the donation depending on the number of votes they received. Visit or to follow how the award money is being invested by Marcus and the other nine finalists.

About International Volunteer HQ:

New-Zealand based International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) provides safe, quality and highly affordable volunteering programs in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each year IVHQ places over 8,000 travelers in volunteering programs abroad and offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.

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