Huntersville 5th Grader Takes Global Initiative to Washington DC -

Huntersville 5th Grader Takes Global Initiative to Washington DC

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Huntersville, N.C. (WJZY) --

A 5th grader from Huntersville is taking her ideas for helping poor children to a US Senator this week.

In fact, she's in Washington DC today, Wednesday.

Before she left, this 10 year old told me she wants her campaign to go world-wide.


We have shoes on our feet. We carry bags on our shoulders.

These are things many of us take for granted.

"I saw children carrying their books in plastic bags. It made me sad," said Mongai Fankam, a 5th grader at Blythe Elementary in Huntersville.

Mongai has been going on mission trips with her mom to the African country of Cameroon since she was three years old.

"You don't think children notice things, but they really do. Mongai took note of how children in Cameroon were living," said Abong Fankam, Mongai's mother.

Abong is from Cameroon. She helps children get enrolled and get through school if one of both of their parents have died from AIDS.

"My daughter asked me if everyone was born equal because children in Cameroon carry their books in their hands and American children carry them in book bags," said Abong.

Mongai didn't stop there. When she got back to her school, she started the "No Backpack Day Movement".

"I didn't think American children would do this and even if they wanted to, I didn't think their parents would allow it. I was happily surprised to see 3/4th of the children carry their books in their hands on 'No Backpack Day'," said Abong.

Since that first year, it has boomed - now involving 30 schools in Charlotte, Wilmington, and Augusta. So far, Mongai and her mom have collected 5,000 backpacks for children in Cameroon.

"It's beautiful to give the backpacks to the children, but then you see all those who haven't received on yet. We need to get more," said Abong.

This year, Mongai and her mom will deliver hundreds of backpacks during their mission trip in July.

"I want to make it a national movement so we can give backpacks not only to children in Cameroon, but all across Africa," said Mongai.

The power of one student's idea to make a difference across the globe.

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