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Kids publish newspaper targeted at themselves

Date Posted: 2004-07-22

A group of Okinawa children are publishing a newspaper of their own.

‘Warabii’ is Okinawa dialect for children, and is intended for peer reading. Many believe it’s good reading for adults as well.

Island Market, perusing the current issue, thought the topic of the lead article was worth repeating.
Junior high school students have discovered they can help less fortunate kids in Laos and Thailand go to school, just by their collecting what many would call worthless paper.

Unused post cards have value, ¥40 each says the organizer. The Japan NGO Action Group is working with the youngsters to run the campaign, called “dulney scala-ship”, a project that began in Laos in 1997. They began raising money the following year, and now support dozens of students in both Laos and neighboring Thailand.

Student volunteers from Nishihara Higashi Junior High School and Kainan Junior High School have been behind the post cards collection drive since its inception five years ago.

Classes have targets. Originally students set out to collect three, then it became an act of love and the number for one class jumped to 100. Now it’s 1,000, says Director Shinya Okuhama. “I’m so surprised that unused post cards can help out someone. I’ll sure continue to collec the unused post cards and help them.”

Kainan Junior High School has been sending the post cards to an non-governmental organization for sale. To make ¥10,000, they need 250 post cards, so each of the 408 students as asked to bring one card. Last year they got 684, enough to help two children in Laos and Thailand to go to school.

The students make their own pamphlets, and collect the cards themselves. They ask for the public’s help. If you have cards to donate, call 03-5292-3260, the Japan NGO Action Center.

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