Four students of Oakdale High School Interact Club are up to something big. The student affiliate of the Oakdale Rotary Club has taken on a first for the club by setting a goal of traveling to Vietnam this summer.
“This year we wanted to have a more ambitious project. Something that’s different,” OHS junior and club member Jean Pagaduan stated.
According to the junior, the club reached out to other Interact Clubs including some in the Bay Area. Upon doing so they learned of the Rotary Vietnam Project through an Oakland based Interact Club. The project fights human trafficking by way of fundraising for scholarships for Vietnamese girls to help them stay in school. The mode of fundraising, an indestructible soccer ball (produced by OneWorldPlayProject), which is sold and donated by the case to impoverished countries.
“The scholarships keep the children in the schools so they don’t get trafficked,” fellow junior and Interact member Shivam Mistry shared.
“Impoverished communities need the power of play,” Jean said, noting that a traditional soccer ball lasts literally hours versus the indestructible ball.
“It’s kind of a win-win situation,” she continued. “If you fundraise and buy a case of balls.”
The fundraising the students are currently seeking is to help with the expense of travel to Vietnam this summer. The group of four intends on traveling abroad for close to two weeks, as part of the Rotary Vietnam Project. They currently have plans to have a booth at the Oakdale Rodeo this weekend, as well as a Dining Out Program, which has yet to be launched.
Companies, organizations or other groups may also by the indestructible balls by the case. A portion of the ball sales also benefits the students travel fund.
“It’s such a good cause, keeping girls in education,” Jean said. “Knowing that other Interact clubs have done it is inspiring.”
“I’m really proud of them,” Jerry Jones, Interact Club Rotary Advisor said. “This was not anything that we told them, this is what they need to do. They took it upon themselves to go international.”
The teens have a Go Fund Me (Gofundme.com/oakdalevietnamproject) page established for those looking to contribute to their fundraising mission or e-mail OHS Campus Interact Advisor Ana Garnica at firstname.lastname@example.org.