Fremont School Launches "Pennies For Peace"

Sept. 11 - KGO - The East Bay city of Fremont has the highest concentration of Afghan-Americans living in the U.S. Students from Thornton Junior High in Fremont honored those who died on 9/11. At the same time, students there made a commitment to help other kids in war-torn Afghanistan through The Roots of Peace penny campaign.


Those pennies that many of us consider a nuisance are helping save lives in many countries devastated by war. Afghanistan is a prime example.

According to the United Nations there are about 60 land mine victims each month in Afghanistan -- about half are children. It cost $3 dollars to put in one of these land mines and $1,000 dollars to take it out of the ground.

Heidi Kuhn, Pennies for Peace: "It costs so much to find a land mine because you never really know where they are. The fear of the presence of a mine prevents the land from being cultivated, so the trained de-miners must comb the earth in order to find these seeds of terror hidden in the ground."

Students at Thornton Junior High helped kick off the Pennies for Peace campaign.

The money goes to clear minefields near schools. It also helps restore soccer fields and build new classrooms.

Henna Mogaddedi, student: "I have family in Afghanistan so I always worry about them so its like I donated $5 dollars, so I was very happy because I can make a difference."

Sumer Mohammed, student: "There are a lot of innocent children and people who are getting killed and losing limbs by these land mines so it"s great they are being removed because of our pennies that we are earning."

Shamim Jawad is the wife of the Afghan ambassador to the U.S.

Shamim Jawad, International Ambassador of Roots of Peace: "Thanks to you, Afghan children are once again chasing kites and kicking soccer balls in the fields that were once those of death."

On Monday the superintendent of schools left people with this thought: if every public school student in the state donated 10 cents to the campaign, they would collect about $759,000 dollars.

Von: 11.9.06, by By Lyanne Melendez

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