Local volunteers behind success of 'No Backpack Day'

Local volunteers behind success of 'No Backpack Day'

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by ANJANETTE FLOWERS / NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 8:56 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Last month, Abong Fankam and her daughter, Mongai, along with some volunteers made a 15-hour flight from Charlotte to Cameroon to deliver school supplies.

"I had fun passing out school supplies that we collected from no backpack day,” said Mongai.

After all, it was her idea.

Last school year, the 9-year-old challenged her classmates at Blythe Elementary School in Charlotte and other local schools.  She asked them to bring in the supplies, but to leave their backpacks at home.

"They came to school with their supplies in their hands or in a plastic bag,” she said.

It was part of No Backpack Day.  The idea behind it was so that kids here “feel how the kids feel in Cameroon when they have to carry their stuff in their hands," she said.

Mongai’s mom is from Cameroon.

"When it's raining, it means it's going to rain on the books and then the books are going to be destroyed," Fankam said.

Abong knows how important something as simple as a backpack can be.

"When you go there, it's not about the next Nike or the next brand name of something that they want, they just want an education,” Abong added.

Mongai and her mom are already looking ahead to the next No Backpack Day.

Last year, they had eight schools on board, and this year they want to have 30 schools.

If she can get more kids to help, “then I get more supplies to take to Cameroon,” young Mongai said.
 

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