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Israeli schoolchildren equip Rwandan orphans with supplies

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JERUSALEM, Aug. 21 (JTA) — Thanks to the efforts of 50,000 Israeli schoolchildren, 1,500 Rwandan orphans will be equipped with school supplies when classes begin next month. The supplies were purchased with funds raised by the schoolchildren, the Israel office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the U.S.-based Jewish Coalition for Rwanda. In addition, “Project Back to School” will pay high-school tuition fees for 250 Rwandan orphans during the next four years. To ensure that the supplies arrive on time, students at the Boyer School in Jerusalem spent part of their summer filling specially designed backpacks with notebooks, pencils, uniforms and shoes. The packs are scheduled to be flown to Rwanda next week. The project is part of a four-year Israeli assistance program to Rwanda that began in 1994. Other Israeli initiatives in the area have included shipments of food and medicine, and a survey of medical, agricultural and community- development needs.

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