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July 2, 2003
Issue 7 

Feature Article


By Judy Huynh

The 6th grade class at Palo Community School has been participating in a pen pal exchange with the Mohomou Refugee School since March of 2003. I first discovered RESPECT when I began taking an online class through iEaRN. Marc Schaeffer wrote to me in the teachers forum and told me about RESPECT, and asked if I was interested in my students having pen pals from a refugee school. We had already been studying hunger issues in developing countries (my social studies curriculum covers africa, asia, and australia), so we expanded it to do more study of refugee issues. We ordered materials from UNHCR, which we used in our classroom, and Marc sent us 23 letters from refugee students in Guinea, West africa. I read the first batch of letters aloud to my students and let them choose the one they wanted to write to.

My students were pretty excited about writing to their pen pals the first time, but it was after they received a personal response from their own pen pal that they became very excited. The day the second packet of letters with photos came from Mohomou School, I passed them out right after lunch so they could read them and share. My students were really touched by the letters from their pen pals. They couldn't believe the troubles and sorrow their pen pals had experienced in their short lives. One of my students said, "Mrs. Huynh, he says the day he received my letter was the happiest day of his life!" To think that they had the power to make a difference in someone's life was an eye-opening experience for them. They couldn't wait to write back to their pen pals, and there was much discussion about what they could do for our new friends. <<more>>


Students Encouraging Global Awareness poster
Students Encouraging Global awareness' (SEGa) annual 12-Hour Relay Fundraiser. Money raised going towards RESPECT's Computers for Refugees Project.

Students run around the track
The Fundraiser getting off to good start as students from Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia run around the track.


Did you know?

an important part of each World Refugee Day celebration is the Nansen Refugee award ceremony which is held on this special day. Formerly known as the Nansen Medal, this almost fifty-year-old prize is named after the Norwegian arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who was appointed in 1921 by the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, to be the very first High Commissioner for Refugees.

The award, consisting of a medal and a $100,000 monetary prize, is given out yearly to a person or group who excels in supporting refugee causes. This year's winner is Dr. annalena Tonelli, an Italian humanitarian worker who has devoted three decades of her life to helping Somali communities in the remote corners of the Horn of Africa. Recent recipients include Ms. Graca Machel and Maestro Luciano Pavarotti.
Source: UNHCR

The Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) is pleased to announce the launch of a process to develop global minimum standards for education in emergencies. By developing these standards, INEE aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of education programs in emergencies and early reconstruction in order to better meet the rights of children and adolescents affected by armed conflict and natural disasters. We hope you will all get involved and contribute to this process! <<more>>

RESPECT Ezine is now available in French! If you would like to be put on the subscription list please contact Jean-Francois Barthe at Also, if you would like to submit an article in French please do not hesitate to contact the RESPECT team.

Students Encouraging Global awareness (SEGa) was started over 8 years ago at Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Their annual fundraiser is a 12-Hour Relay, where close to 120 high school students take turns doing 3 laps around a track once an hour.

This year SEGa sought out RESPECT to help them direct the proceeds raised from the fundraiser to help educate refugees. The specific project selected was the Computers for Refugees project in Northern Uganda, which plans on establishing a computer resource center in the area that would be used by refugee students.


Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies logo

The Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) serves a unique purpose in reaching out to education practitioners around the world working in situations of emergencies and crisis.