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One World, One Love: How a High School Girl from Japan Changed Turkey
March 22, 2000

Some of you have written to us and asked what you personally could do to help the earthquake victims in Turkey. Here, I will tell you the story of one young woman and what she decided to do to help others. Her story is one of determination and courage. Mio Shindo was born on 13 September, 1981. She is a senior at Genyo High School in Fukaoka, Japan.

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When she heard the terrible news of the Turkish earthquake victims, Mio decided to do something about it. She asked her teachers at school what she could do to help the victims of the earthquake and they told her that she was too young and could not do much of anything, and besides, she had to concentrate on her school work.

So, Mio decided that she would have to find some other way to help the people in Turkey. She decided that she must go to Turkey herself and see that whatever money she brought would go to those in need. She was finally given permission by her father and her school to go to Turkey.

She landed in Turkey and was met by a friend of her uncle's. She decided to seek out help from the people of Turkey to accomplish her mission. Mio wanted to bring them useful and practical things, but what did the people need? Mio made a questionnaire (in Turkish!) asking people what would help them most. Then, she decided to find these items and personally deliver them to the victims. She made friends with some young Turks, and they helped her to go from store to store and get things like clothes, toiletries, medicines, blankets, food, and even toys for children.

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In my opinion, Mio is one of the bravest, greatest people I have ever met. She never gave up and she made a big difference to a lot of needy people. I asked her what advice she would give to young people around the world, and her advise is, "Treat everyone the same as you want or would like to be treated, don't treat different people differently."

I hope I can always remember her example.

Andrew

p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...andrewcote@bigfoot.com
 

Monica - What to think about when you're waiting around...A collection of thoughts from Erzurum, Turkey

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