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Grade 5 students help disaster victims in Asia

Alix McNaught
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - When a cyclone struck Myanmar and earthquakes hit China, Grade 5 students Sara Ibey and Nancy Ngo didn't sit idly by.

The two J.H. Sissons students managed raise approximately $1000 each in funds for relief efforts.

"I was listening to the radio, 'cause my mom turns it on every morning, and I heard that there was a cyclone in Burma," said Ibey.

"I thought about it, because I like to help a lot of people. I like helping; it makes me feel really good. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, and then I kind of came up with the idea of doing a fundraiser."

Speaking with her teacher Mr. Austin, and Sissons principal Paul Bennett, Ibey decided to hold a submarine sandwich lunch the following week on May 22.

After Ibey spoke to Bennett about doing something for Myanmar cyclone victims, Bennett contacted Dennis Bevington's office to find out if there were any organizations through which the money could be sent.

Bevington's office contacted Ottawa and told Bennett that World Vision was operating in Myanmar and would double the money donated.

"We raised about $500, but because it's getting doubled, we got just under $1000. I also thought a PJ day would go perfect with it. It was quite fun," Ibey said.

After seeing images of the quake in China, Ibey considered doing something for China, but thought Ngo would want to tackle it.

"I found the idea because I was watching television and then on the news it said that there was an earthquake in China, and I'm Chinese. I like helping people, so I talked with Monique, my teacher, so then we talked with Mr. Bennett for a bake sale and a pizza lunch," said Ngo.

Held on June 4 and 6, the China fundraiser brought in $587.42, which will be doubled by World Vision as well.

Ngo also helped out at the M&M Meatshop barbeque to help China and last weekend's China aid dinner.

Both girls helped count the money, which has already been shipped out to World Vision.

"I'm hoping that they're going to use it for food, to help rebuild the shelters too, and mostly for medicine," Ngo said about the funds. "There's a lot of kids and families that are homeless - in China too."

"It took down many schools and many people died and many people are missing," Ngo added.

This was the first time both students, who were in the same Grade 3 class, had organized a fundraiser. Both said they would do it again.

Bennett was not surprised at Ibey and Ngo's initiative.

"They're amazing kids, so you come to expect it. When they put their minds behind these things, and I know they're going to lead and I know the kids will buy into it in the classes, I just knew it was going to go and they would do well with it. I think, in some ways, they surprised their parents more than anybody," he said, referring to parents' disbelief that 10 and 11 year olds were thinking about what was happening in the rest of the world.

Both Ibey and Ngo wanted to thank their friends, classes and teachers for all the help they gave and all the student purchasers of pizza, subs and baked goods, who made the fundraiser a success.