NZ kids raise thousands for overseas education projects

SND21-wk1-Purple Cake Day1Nelson-based colourful children’s charity Purple Cake Day announced their fundraising distribution for 2105 on Monday, which will see a whopping $83,205 going to education projects for vulnerable children around the world.

“This is always an exciting time of the year for us, announcing the results from everybody’s hard work,” Paul Dodge, who co-ordinates the social media for the charity, said.

“We must give a huge shout out and thank you to our team of committed volunteers who make this all happen. Purple Cake Day only exists because parents, teachers and children themselves decide to get involved.”

Purple Cake Day supports education projects in Haiti, Nepal and Kenya (and this year also in Vanuatu) through colourful and creative fundraising ideas often put into action by children themselves.

Currently in its fifth year of operating, the team is seeing some impressive results.

“One of the projects we have supported from the start was the Children of Haiti Project. All of the students were originally from a tent camp and most had never previously been to school,” Mr Dodge said.

“Now, five years on, these students are thriving; not only passing, but excelling in the Ministry of Education’s national standardised evaluations.”

“Take 9-year old Laury, for instance. Her home life is the definition of poverty; there is no running water, no electricity, these are some of the poorest kids in Haiti. Laury is their superstar. She scored 100 in French, 100 in Maths, and 90 in Creole grammar. They call her supercallifragalistic Laury!”

Half a world away in Nelson, nine-year old Bella Gibbons asked her parents, grandparents and friends if, instead of Christmas presents, they could give her the equivalent money which she would then “pass on to other kids who had less than me”.

Bella had been learning what it is like to live as a nine-year old in Haiti through Purple Cake Day. She aimed to raise $600 for Laury and her classmates.

“Word spread about her altruistic act and over $3000 came in,” Mr Dodge said. “This kind of generosity in our children is inspiring.”

And contagious. Thirty-six children aged 3 to 8 years old participated in their own triathlon earlier this year, 9-year old Havana shaved off her hair, and the Fa’avae siblings (12, 10 & 8) climbed the ‘purple tops’ mountain range. This is on top of numerous highly supportive school groups who regularly ‘go purple’ for the cause.

“I think Purple Cake Day is unique in the way we have fun and support our children in their ideas of how to help and why it is important to help,” says founder Emily Sanson.

“It also gives teachers and parents an opportunity to talk about some ‘big’ issues with kids. This is one of the spin-offs, the education and learning opportunities for everyone involved.

Purple Cake Day fundraising in 2015 has awarded:

  • $28,000 to First Steps Himalaya who are rebuilding classrooms and supporting schools following the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year;
  • $19,205.37 (USD, $12,000) to Hilde Back Education Fund who assist bright students from needy families to continue to secondary school in Kenya; $19,000 to the Children of Haiti Project school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; $10,000 to Vanuatu through UNICEF NZ (which was then doubled due to the Morgan Foundation dollar for dollar donation matching).
  • $7000 to the Children’s Emergency Fund.
  • Total -$83,205.37

“We also have to thank our major supporters in Nelson,” Ms Sanson said.

“WOW, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, netMaestro and other business supporters including Savage & Savage, Revell Design and Speedy Print, who inspire us and help us operate more effectively.

“Purple Cake Day is not just about cakes, it’s about kids helping kids. And the benefits have proven to go both ways.

“Thank you for your support and we look forward to more purple events next year.”

Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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