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Pacific neighbours benefit from Kiwi generosity

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

International aid agency Oxfam has been gifted $160, 000 by a generous Kiwi supporter who sadly passed away late last year.

Susan Bell- left the money to Oxfam in her will with the instruction to use the gift toward Oxfam’s poverty reduction programmes in the Pacific.

"We were saddened to hear of Mrs Bell’s passing, but also delighted that we are able to honour her wishes and ensure that her values and beliefs live on through our work. Her incredible generosity will be put to good use to ensure that vulnerable people have access to their basic human rights - clean water, nutritious food, a safe place to live, access to jobs and education, and a voice in the decisions that affect them," said Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

This bequest is one of many left by kind-hearted, every day Kiwis in their wills and it’s being highlighted as part ofInclude a Charity Week, 28th September - 5th October, a campaign aimed at encouraging more people to include gifts in their wills to their favourite charities, after they have looked after family and friends.

Last year, Oxfam received over $250,000 in bequests, a figure which Le Mesurier said New Zealanders should be proud of. "We are one of the most giving nations in the world, that’s backed up by data - we came second as the most generous country on earth in the Global Annual Giving Index 2013, but here is more tangible proof of just how generous Kiwis are. Even in our final moments - we are thinking of others.

"The reality is that most bequests are made by ordinary, hardworking Kiwis. People who want to make a positive difference to their community and other people's lives after they've gone. It’s incredibly humbling," said Le Mesurier.

Bequests made to Oxfam last year bought materials to install showers for girls in 50 schools in Papua New Guinea, helping to improve female hygiene and make education more accessible to girls.

They provided ni-Vanuatu mechanics with construction materials for four workshops, helping young people gain life-lasting employment skills.

And in Timor-Leste, bequests have helped equip nine farmers cooperatives with tools and equipment to harvest rice, making production fast and more effective, increasing yields and income.

Hannah Davies, Relationship Fundraising Manager at Oxfam New Zealand said: "Bequests are becoming more popular because they are a way to ensure that your beliefs, values and hopes for future generations can continue beyond your lifetime. It’s a great opportunity to support causes close to your heart without impacting your current financial situation.

"We couldn’t be more grateful, or humbled by the generosity of Kiwis who leave money in their wills to Oxfam. Because of gifts like these, people living in poverty in the Pacific are given the opportunity to lift their lives, for good. I don’t think there’s a better legacy to leave," said Davies.

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