The Say No to UXO Club sold bracelets on May 23 to spread awareness about the tragedies they witnessed during their investigative journalism trip to Laos over spring break.
The booth took donations to buy a tractor for Ye Lee, a double amputee victim the students met during their trip. One day while working in the fields, Lee lost both of his legs because of a bomb that was left from the Vietnam War. After meeting Lee and hearing his story, the students made it their goal to help.
Also in return for donations, wristbands that said “Say No to UXO” were handed out. By the end of the day, the club raised almost $1,300 to buy Lee a tractor.
“Mr. Ye Lee’s tractor is at the very top of our short term goals list. Once fundraising is completed for that cause, we will proceed to help the many UXO victims we saw there and connected so closely with,” club leader Max Cho’15 said.
Club members Aimee Misaki’15 and Danielle Stolz’15 helped the booth’s visitors make origami cranes for children in Laos.
“Aimee and Danielle’s project uses a symbol of hope from the Hiroshima bombing, applying a theme of origami crane-folding to inspire optimism in war victims to transcend their past with future dreams,” Cho said.
They directed the booth’s visitors to write their hopes and dreams, either for themselves or the Laotian victims, onto the origami. The club members hung the cranes made by the Laotian children they met in Laos behind the booth.
The booth also played a video made by Stolz and Hana Kateman’15.
Next on the club’s agenda is to hold a gallery and screening for the students to show their finished documentary and exhibit the photos they took in Laos.
“This is a large scale event where mass fundraising is anticipated to take place. The date is to be determined. If we need to, more booths will be set up, especially because this one was a huge success,” says Cho.
The club is still in the process of creating an official website but the url will eventually be www.saynotouxo.com.