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On Friday the 23rd September 2011, the Mayor of Lower Hutt will launch the Sponsor a Chair campaign at the Dowse Museum. Sponsor a Chair is a project to benefit children – both here and abroad. Here at Avonside Girls High School , Christchurch and in Zimbabwe at Mazivisa Primary School, where so many children have been orphaned by HIV.
At the event, guests will meet the woman behind this project and the see pictures of the sculpture that was the motivation for the campaign. Getrude Matshe, Founder and CEO of the Africa Alive Education Foundation, is the brains behind Sponsor a Chair. An incredible motivational speaker, very successful entrepreneur and tireless fundraiser she was studying Art this year at the Learning Connection when her tutor, Roger Key, set an assignment for her to create a 3D piece of graffiti that was to be displayed in a public place to evoke some kind of response.
She chose a chair as it reminded her of the school and the 352 children she helps in Zimbabwe, where many of the children don't even have a seat to sit on. " Initially I thought I could restore some small chairs I found at a recycle station in Upper Hutt and send them to Zimbabwe for my grade 0 class. After looking at the logistics of restoration and shipping, it made more sense for me to create a sculpture that represented my vision to empower underprivileged children to get an education. I decided to use yellow recycled plastic bags from Pak n Save to cover the chairs with the vision to create a large chair out of the small chairs and display this in a public place."
She hopes that the vision behind the sculpture will prompt people to support the cause. And because she believes in helping at home first, she is splitting all proceeds between the African cause and Avonside Girls' High School in Christchurch who need help to rebuild their school after the earthquake. Her slogan is:
Put your loved ones first
Your community next
If you have some to spare
Please sponsor a chair
"Zimbabwe needs our help," says Matshe, "but we should never forget the people who need assistance in New Zealand. Christchurch kids need our support too."
Lower Hutt Mayor, Ray Wallace says "There is an ongoing need to support individuals and organisations who contribute to the public good through the raising funds for specific causes. The chair fund-raising project is a novel approach and will provide an incentive for caring members of our community who wish to make a difference to those in need."
For more information on Africa Alive go to www.africaaliveonline.com
For more information contact Getrude Matshe on 021 0368 931