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Celebrities Ask NZers to Brainstorm Ideas on Child Poverty

MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 24 August 2016

Celebrities Join Forces to Ask New Zealanders
to Brainstorm Ideas on Child Poverty

Last night saw the launch of a significant child poverty awareness campaign titled#DearNewZealand by Variety – the Children’s Charity.

Variety’s aim is to generate conversation about child poverty in New Zealand and encourage the sharing of ideas about what we as a country can collectively do to fix it.

The real stories of Kiwi kids living in poverty will be told by prominent New Zealand personalities though a series of videos which will be released over the coming week, alongside the hashtag #DearNewZealand.

In the videos, Sir Graham Henry, Toni Street and others will each read a letter written to New Zealand by a real Kiwi kid living in poverty, giving insight into the realities of their daily lives.

Variety CEO Lorraine Taylor says, “Although we often hear about the problem of child poverty in New Zealand from the adult perspective, those most affected – the children – remain voiceless. #DearNewZealand will change that, giving a group of Kiwi kids the chance to share their stories, encouraging all of us to take notice and take action.”

Over the week, a host of other well-known New Zealanders will give their thoughts on what they would do to end child poverty. Everyday Kiwis will be encouraged to do the same, using the hashtag #DearNewZealand to create a national ‘think tank’ on the issue.

“We want to inspire people to share their ideas about how we can solve child poverty in New Zealand together. These ideas may be as simple as helping out in our own neighbourhoods, or as complex as arguing for systemic change.” says Lorraine Taylor.

The #DearNewZealand website www.dearnz.co.nz offers actions that can be taken immediately by the public, which will make a tangible difference for our most vulnerable children. These include signing up to sponsor a local child through Variety’s Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme.

Throughout the country there are currently 2,407 children receiving vital support through the Variety Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme, with a further 905 children in need of urgent support waiting to be matched with sponsors.

Sadly, these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. There are an estimated 148,000* Kiwi kids growing up in material hardship in New Zealand, and 80,000* growing up in severe hardship, through no fault of their own.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT VARIETY KIWI KID SPONSORSHIP

Variety currently has over 900 children on their waiting list for Kiwi Kid Sponsorship.

• Children in need help are referred to Variety by schools and community agencies.
• Sponsors pay a minimum of $45 a month to fund basic essentials the family cannot afford like warm clothing, bedding, shoes and school stationery.
• Money given meets the specific needs of the child and is not used for other family bills.
• Sponsors receive updates about their child’s progress.
• Currently there are 2,407 Kiwi kids being sponsored nationally.

For information on becoming a Variety Kiwi Kid Sponsor visit: www.variety.org.nz or phone 09 520 4111

For more information about #DearNewZealand visit: www.dearnz.co.nz

*Source: Child Poverty Monitor: 2015 Technical Report

ENDS

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