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Chapel Hill Students Make 'Kits for Kosovo Kids'

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CHAPEL HILL — Among the thousands of refugees from Kosovo are the children who are struggling to make sense of the war. Many of them are separated from their families. Their faces tell alarming stories that are ringing through to children in the Triangle.

Children are inquisitive. When they see the pictures from Kosovo, they want to know why it is happening and why the United States is involved.

The kids at Chapel Hill Middle School are raising money. Once enough money is raised, they will put their care kits together.

The kits will then be mailed to the refugee centers as part of the students' "Kits For Kosovo" project.

For a generation growing up on video games, war is a game played on TV.

In the real world, the force of the winds of war in Kosovo are hitting some Chapel Hill Middle School students in the heart.

It is not easy for the students to see children their own age carrying water instead of books and huddling for safety instead of playing on the playground.

"Basically you have your only chance of being a kid just ripped away from you. They're worried about getting tagged with shrapnel or bullets," said student Ben Jones.

A lesson on Eastern Europe triggered a humanitarian movement. The students wanted to help children in the region even before NATO bombs started falling.

Putting together the kits is the students' small way of making a difference in a war of indifference many of them do not understand.

"They talk to their parents; they get on the Internet; they bring in articles the next day; they say 'here's what's happening, why are we doing this,'" said teacher Nancy Kindem.

And unlike video games, real people die.

The kids are still raising money. Once enough money is raised, they plan to get the care kits in the mail as soon as possible.