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Lessons in Foreign Aid

More than 250,000 Norwegian secondary school students will solicit one day's employment with companies and individuals, and will donate all of their earnings to educational projects in Cambodia being run by Redd Barna (Norwegian Save the Children).

The fundraising project, known as Operation Day's Work, has been conducted annually in Norway for more than 20 years. In 1992, the students raised approximately U.S. $5 million and donated the money to Norwegian NGOs working on behalf of indigenous people in Latin America.

Every October, Norwegian secondary schools mount "International Week," an awareness-raising campaign aimed at teaching youths about issues in developing countries. The youths then raise money for an educational project in one country or region in the world. This year Cambodia was selected as the recipient country.

Students who participate in the project do everything from performing street theater to file clerking, painting houses to peddling snacks on public buses. Each student earns about 120 Norwegian Kroner (U.S. $20) for their day's work.

The Cambodian projects benefitting from the funds include educational development activities in Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham and Siem Reap, where almost 35 percent of all Cambodian children live.

Most of the funds will be used to strengthen primary school infrastructures, including teacher training, school construction, book distribution, and the provision of essential materials like paper to the schools.

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