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May 2014

Netball Star Encourages Kiwis to FACEUP for Special Cause

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MEDIA RELEASE

FACEUP4cbm, a unique charitable campaign which aims to raise $360,000 to help 1000 children from some of the world’s poorest countries, has announced Silver Fern Leana de Bruin as campaign ambassador.

Leana De BruinOne of New Zealand’s top netball stars is asking Kiwis who care to FACEUP with their picture and front up with their cash in a bid to help children living in poverty with a disability.

Silver Fern Leana de Bruin has today been announced as Ambassador for The FACEUP4cbm campaign, a creative new online fundraiser for international organisation cbm which aims to raise $360,000 to help 1000 children from some of the world’s poorest countries.

As part of the unique charitable campaign supporters are encouraged to upload their picture and literally FACEUP to child poverty while making a donation. Once their donation has been made their image will appear on the FACEUP4cbm website.

“I am honoured and excited to be an Ambassador for The FACEUP4cbm campaign. As a mother my heart goes out to those parents who want to give their children the best treatment for their disabilities but are unable to do so due to poverty. Child poverty is a significant issue that we need to address and this is a truly unique way to put the ball in the court of everyday New Zealanders to help these children,” says de Bruin.

“I am hopeful that Kiwis will be as moved as I am by the plight of children living with the double disadvantage of poverty and disability and get behind this innovative and worthy campaign,” she says.

A full screen of images of those who have faced up for the charitable drive will provide a visual confirmation that enough money has been raised to help 1000 children living with the double disadvantage of poverty and disability.

The National Director for cbm Darren Ward says he is delighted to have an Ambassador of de Bruin’s calibre helping to front the campaign.

“It is exciting for us to be able to enlist the help of a sporting star such as Leana for The FACEUP4cbm campaign and really get into the hearts and minds of Kiwis to urge them to do something about the suffering of children living in poverty with a disability,” says Ward.

According to Ward, around 13,000 one-off donations are needed to complete the campaign and those people wanting to be involved can do so for as little as $14.

“The size of the image that will appear will depend on the size of the donation. Each $30 represents a month of sponsorship for a child in need and will help provide them with life-saving and ongoing care they need for a better life,” he says.

An international Christian development organisation working to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries, cbm helped more than 31 million people in 2012.

Ward says in many countries children with disabilities are rejected by their families or communities and cbm workers help break down stigmas and fears, developing and implementing a 12-month plan to meet the needs of children and their families.

“Ultimately, we are aiming to break the cycle of disability and poverty and the one-on-one work we do with families makes a lasting difference because what we do allows them a greater degree of independence and better quality of life,” he says.

“It can involve a mix of ensuring a child with a disability gets medical care or a medical procedure as well as enabling the family to generate income and if they’ve been rejected by the community, helping them to reconnect and ensuring the child is welcomed into their local school. In this way we are helping to ensure they all have a chance for a better future,” he says.

Ward says evidence of the difference Kiwi donations can make is illustrated best by the story of Laxmi, a young Nepalese girl, whose journey provides the backdrop for the new FACEUP4cbm campaign.

“Laxmi badly burnt her left leg as a toddler and subsequently it never grew. When her friends walked to school she was forced to crawl in the dirt behind them, over sharp rocks in the rugged Nepal terrain and even across a stream. She was taunted by other children and left broken both physically and emotionally,” says Ward.

Her parents, both farmers were unable to pay for treatment but thanks to the generosity of cbm supporters she was fitted with a prosthetic leg and was able to walk for the first time,” says Ward.

It is Laxmi’s poignant story that features on the FACEUP4cbm website and Ward says he hopes it will motivate Kiwis to do more to help children like Laxmi around the world.

“New Zealanders are very generous people and they also like innovative ideas so we expect they’ll be keen to get involved in the FACEUP4cbm campaign and that we will fill the screen with the faces of caring Kiwis very quickly,” he says.

Those Kiwis who take part in the campaign will be able to order colour prints and keep a permanent record of the part they and their networks played in helping children like Laxmi, he says.

One of the largest organisations for disability and development in the world, cbm funds approximately 10 million medical treatments, helping 850,000 of those receive an operation for their eyes, ears and limbs. It also provides specialist training for over 100,000 people including 2000 doctors, 5000 nurses and 20,000 teachers each year.

Go to www.faceup4cbm.com to find out more and see Laxmi’s journey or to join the FACEUP4cbm campaign.

To download images of Leana de Bruin, please click here

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
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