Before ChildFund, Kiri worked for public relations and research agencies in New Zealand, the UK, and Australia. Enjoying the pro bono and paid work done for various non-profits, she finally made the jump to the non-profit sector joining ChildFund in 2007. Kiri sponsors a young girl in Vietnam.
My role involves raising awareness amongst the New Zealand public of ChildFund’s work and issues affecting children, especially extreme poverty. As a result, I’ve been privileged to meet wonderfully generous Kiwis and also visit the communities we support in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, including meeting my own sponsored child Thom - an experience I highly recommend.
It all began for me with my very first task at ChildFund, which was to write an opinion piece for National Children’s Day. I based it around two Ethiopian girls who only had each other after their mother passed away one night as she slept between them. The eldest girl 15-year-old Selamwit worked 11-hour days changing money for cab drivers and earning small change for her trouble. She worked so her younger sister Bethlehem could go to school. Selamwit’s biggest wish was for more strength to work harder so she could care for her sister. A photo of the sisters still sits on my desk to remind me how difficult life is for the children we help and how incredibly brave and strong they are. No work day is too hard when I look at that photo.