Changing the World
One Backpack at a Time
is No Backpack Day?
To gain perspective of a day in the life of an underprivileged Student, NO BACKPACK DAY is set aside as a day where students are encouraged to leave their backpacks and carry their books and lunch in plastic bags or in their hands. For the remainder of the week, students can donate backpacks and school supplies for students in need both in the United States and around the world.
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Mongai Fankam, Founder No BackPack Day
Mongai Fankam is an award-winning 14 years-old Cameroonian-American young lady who is an activist and avid supporter for under privileged children. Mongai has met with some World renown leaders in line with her education advocacy work. She has shared the stage with Dr. Joyce Banda former President of the Republic of Malawi, Mrs. Leymah Gbowee 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Mayor Jennifer Roberts Mayor of Charlotte. Mongai was invited to the US Senate to meet with Senator Chris Coons.
At the tender age of 3 years old, Mongai’s mother began taking her on mission trips to Cameroon, Africa. As Mongai got older, she realized that most of the children in rural areas of Cameroon had to walk miles to school and had no backpacks to carry their supplies in. Mongai decided to take action so she shared her concern with her teacher. Mongai wanted her schoolmates at Blythe Elementary School to donate backpacks and school supplies for the children of Cameroon on the condition that the kids come to school for a day without their backpacks! They would have to carry all their supplies and books in hand or in plastic bags just as the Cameroon children do every day. The principal at Blythe Elementary, staff and entire student body rallied their support for the cause and designated it as “No Backpack Day”! Since 2012, close to 40 schools in Charlotte have also joined in on “No Backpack Day” and more than 13000 backpacks with supplies have been given to the children of Cameroon, Cape Verde, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa and locally in North Carolina. Mongai hopes that “No Backpack Day” will continue to spread to more schools so eventually no child will have to go to school carrying their books in plastic bags or in hand.