Currently, 370 vulnerable kids are waiting for a generous Kiwi to lift them out of poverty.

The children's charity Variety released their wait list, which is one of their longest ever, to the Herald which showed over half the children waiting - 187 - were in Auckland. Canterbury is next in line with 53 kids, Wellington has 32. Taranaki, Southland and the East Coast have the fewest, with three kids each on their waiting list.

Variety are calling for sponsors in light of Universal Children's day today. The newly sponsored kids will join the 3268 others already being cared for.

They are provided basic items like warm bedding, sturdy shoes, school stationery, a school uniform, basic healthcare and money for school trips, sport and swimming lessons.

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Poula's daughter Glorya is sponsored as well as four of his other children. The Manurewa man said it had been a lifesaver for the whole family.

"The money has helped for a school uniform, stationery and blankets and clothes for Glorya. It is good help for the family for everything. All my children are sponsored by Variety and it's really good to get the help. "

Broadcaster Mike McRoberts with Glorya. McRoberts is going to take 20 intrepid Kiwis on a cycle trip around Sri Lanka to raise money for children's charity Variety. Photo / Supplied
Broadcaster Mike McRoberts with Glorya. McRoberts is going to take 20 intrepid Kiwis on a cycle trip around Sri Lanka to raise money for children's charity Variety. Photo / Supplied

Broadcaster Mike McRoberts is one Kiwi pitching in. He is hosting this summer's Variety Cycle Challenge with a 400km ride through Sri Lanka with 20 intrepid travellers.

The group will explore remote regions over 10 days including culinary delights, temples and unique landscapes like Udawalawe National Park - where they will search for wild elephants. Individuals pay $6090 for the pleasure which includes a $500 donation to Variety.

Since 2005, Variety has funded around 450 Avantibikes each year.

McRoberts is excited about helping Kiwi kids. Having two children himself, he believes that all children deserve a fighting chance at a wonderful life.

"Not only will it be great fun but it's for a fantastic cause.

"I'm hoping a fantastic group of people will join me and we'll have a great time."

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McRoberts said he gets a big smile on his face when he rides his bike as he loves it so much.

Kiwi Kid Sponsorship is a one-to-one programme, with genuine relationships being built between the sponsor and sponsored child and their family. Sponsors receive regular communication and updates from the child.

Poula with his daughter Glorya who is sponsored through the children's charity Variety. Photo / Supplied
Poula with his daughter Glorya who is sponsored through the children's charity Variety. Photo / Supplied

Auckland woman Rachel had always wanted to sponsor a child but wanted it to be a New Zealand kid. The mum of three jumped at the chance to sponsor Athena.

"We started sponsoring Athena when she was 4, she's 8 now and it's lovely getting an updated photo of her each year and seeing her growing up. I get in touch with her with a gift and written note at Christmas and her birthday, and my kids especially love it when we hear back from her. "

Rachel said it also taught her own children how to help those in need.

"It also helps them realise how lucky they are having a warm house, warm clothes and lunch every day as some children in New Zealand sadly don't."

Variety chief executive Lorraine Taylor said sponsorship positively affected the children's social inclusion, education, family dynamics and health and has positive impacts on the whole family. She was grateful to the people who had already donated.

"But there are so many more children that need help so they can access the basic essentials and opportunities so many of us take for granted."

Variety started the Kiwi Kid Sponsorship programme in 2013.

Visit their website to sponsor a child.

Waitlist

Total 370

Auckland 187
Canterbury 53
Wellington 32
Northland 24
Waikato 17
Bay of Plenty 13
Otago 10
Hawke's Bay 9
Manawatu-Wanganui 9
Nelson-Marlborough 7
Taranaki 3
Southland 3
East Coast 3