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Apprentice-style race to support UNICEF

UNICEF NZ (The UN Children’s Fund) Media Release

Young leaders in Apprentice-style race to support UNICEF

Wellington, 17 November 2008. – Thirty-seven young leaders from New Zealand and Asia are in a race against time and each other to raise funds for UNICEF projects in Laos.

Competing in teams of six, the young leaders aged between 20-36 years old will be in a race reminiscent of The Apprentice TV show. Their aim: to come up with the most innovative fundraising ideas and collect as much money as they can to help children.

The teams can make advance preparations, but their fundraising activities must run between 8am and 2pm on Thursday 20 November. They will be given $100 along with internet and phone access, and will have just six hours to raise funds.

All money raised by the teams will support UNICEF projects in Laos that are bringing safe drinking water to schools and villages. The ready availability of safe water improves children’s health and boosts school attendance rates.

The fundraising challenge is a new feature of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Young Leaders Forum in Wellington (16-22 November). The Forum – now in its third year – aims to build leadership skills and promote New Zealand-Asia relationships.

UNICEF NZ Executive Director Dennis McKinlay says that the fundraising challenge is an exciting way for people to support life-changing projects in Laos, which is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world.

“We really appreciate the Asia NZ Foundation’s initiative in coming up with the fundraising challenge and give our full backing to the young leaders as they compete against the clock and each other.

“We ask businesses and individuals contacted by competitors to give as much help and support as they can.”

Mr McKinlay says that the challenge coincides with Universal Children’s Day and the 19th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The Convention spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have. Its core principles are non-discrimination, devotion to the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child.

“The fundraising challenge represents a very practical celebration of the Convention and will help to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children in Laos.”

Asia NZ Foundation Director Education, Vanessa Lee, says that it is exciting to be partnering with UNICEF and she is looking forward to a thrilling and demanding week.

“At the end of this Forum we know that participants will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and relationships needed to form enduring networks that benefit not only themselves, but the wider interests of New Zealand and the countries of Asia.”

Forum participants are drawn from the Asia New Zealand Foundation Young Leaders Network comprised of talented young people with Asia-related skills and experience destined to become leaders of New Zealand’s future relations with Asia.

More information

UNICEF NZ Laos projects


Asia New Zealand Foundation 2008 Young Leaders Forum



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