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Follow-up on a story

September 27, 2005



Fund for Malawi Girls: On July 6, we published "What it's like to live on $1 a day." After a number of readers offered assistance to the subjects in the story, The First Church of Christ, Scientist (the publisher of this paper) agreed to set up a fund to forward donations to the village of Bowa, Malawi. To date, the fund has received more than $6,000 from about 40 donors.

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In response to the initial pledges from donors, the villagers of Bowa organized a scholarship program to help girls complete high school. Many of the village girls, in particular, drop out after seventh grade because the high school is too far away, and the boarding fees are too expensive for their families. Initially, four girls were selected to be recipients. But the generosity of donors means that three more girls can participate. Starting in January, when the next term begins, seven girls from Bowa will be sponsored to attend high school, says contributing writer Xanthe Scharff, who is now getting a master's degree at The Fletcher School at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. The money will be delivered to the village by a Malawian representative of CARE, an international development and relief organization. For accountability, four Bowa villagers will make all deposits and withdrawals from the scholarship bank account.

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Words as Windows: Adam Jacot de Boinod poured over 80 dictionaries and, according to the BBC, he's convinced that a country's dictionary says more about a culture than a guide book. Hawaiians, for instance, have 108 words for sweet potato. While English speakers have to describe the action of laughing so much that your abdomen hurts, the Japanese have the much more efficient expression: katahara itai. In Malay, the space between the teeth is gigi rongak. In Dutch, uitwaaien means walking in windy weather for fun. Mr. de Boinod's book is "The Meaning of Tingo."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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