UNICEF world balloon tour kicks off in New Zealand

A hot air balloon was launched from Auckland earlier this week, marking the beginning of a journey to raise awareness and donations for UNICEF.

It is expected that the ‘Flying High for Kids World Balloon Project’ will last for four years – visiting over 100 countries and 200 schools during that time. The likely final destination will be Chile in 2017.

The team, headed by the founder of the trip, New Zealander Andrew Parker, have been planning the journey since 2010, and will be focusing particularly on UNICEF’S work for its Schools for Africa and Asia programmes.

A significant number of children will also leave messages of support for Parker to carry with him during the next few years.

The Flying High for Kids team will ride in a balloon with the UNICEF logo to various schools and organisations, attracting plenty of media attention. The group intends to focus largely on schools and other children’s education establishments. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“We will link first and third world schools around the world by flying or tethering at various schools and exchanging communications between them, giving kids the opportunity to learn about a different way of life to their own.”

It is hoped that the Flying High for Kids team can raise more than $1,000,000 by means of corporate and private donations for UNICEF. The tour should also be a positive and happy experience for many who will have never seen a hot air balloon before.

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