About The Founder of No Backpack Day
Mongai Fankam is a 5th grader at Blythe Elementary School who also is an activist and avid supporter for under privileged children. 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 Cameroon had to walk a lot of 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, Mrs. Cross. Mongai wanted her schoolmates at Blythe 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. Mrs. Johanson, the principal, staff and entire student body rallied their support for the cause and designated it as “No Backpack Day”! That very year, 8 schools participated in the movement and donations totaled 500 backpacks filled with school supplies. Since then, close to 30 schools in Charlotte, Wilmington and Augusta, Georgia have also joined in on “No Backpack Day” and more than 5000 backpacks with supplies have been given to the children of Cameroon. 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.
To further recognize her efforts with “No Backpack Day”, Mongai met with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware on May 8th in Washington, DC. Senator Coons, who serves as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, discussed with Mongai her vision and goals for “No Backpack Day”.
On May 13th, Mongai was recognized by the Mecklenburg County Board of Education.
Mongai was the 2014 Class Valedictorian at her graduation.
Ms. Mongai Fankam, Founder of the No Backpack Day Movement, was honored on September 13, 2014, as “The 2014 Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation Humanitarian Award Recipient”, for her unwavering dedication, supportive leadership and devoted service to humanity. Mongai recently donated back bags filled with school supplies to all the underprivileged students that were selected to receive Free Primary Christian Education at the Annie Doe Memorial Academy in Liberia
Mongai continues to positively impact children who are in need. She is developing into a true global community leader. We have to give her a shout-out because she’s a stand-out!!
Interested in learning how your school can become involved?