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Published on 3rd August 2011
More than 32,000 hand-woven friendship bracelets have now been sent to schools, Girl Guide units, Body Shops, Four Square and Levis stores throughout New Zealand in preparation for VSA Project Friendship 2011.
Project Friendship runs from 15 to 21 August. During the week almost 200 schools and Girl Guide units will be selling $3, colourful, hand-woven friendship bracelets. The bracelets will also be available at Body Shop and Levis stores throughout New Zealand, and at 97 Four Square stores in the lower North Island.
Project Friendship 2011 is once again focusing on youth. The money raised will be used to support VSA volunteers working with young people who are educating other young people, working to look after their environment, or bringing communities together through sport.
This year, for the first time, participating schools were offered the opportunity to have a returned VSA volunteer visit and talk about their assignment. VSA fundraising coordinator Kalra Paotonu says she’s been delighted by the response.
“I thought we might get 20 or 25 schools signing up, but we now have 30 schools with confirmed speakers and several schools we are still trying to arrange a speaker for.”
She says having the speakers will be a big boost for Project Friendship.
“There’s nothing like hearing a first-hand account from someone who’s actually done it to make the volunteering experience come alive.”
Ten of the 19 speakers attended a two-day workshop in Wellington last weekend to develop their speaking skills. Participants learned about the importance of using storytelling to engage an audience, and got useful tips on how to structure their presentations.
“We hope that all the schools who have a speaker will promote it to their friends and colleagues at other schools so that next year we can make Project Friendship even bigger and better,” says Karla.