Guessing game over toy cargo

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2001, 12:00am

A special shipment containing toys and education materials worth US$500,000 (HK$3.9 million) could be heading towards Hong Kong.

The Great Toy Challenge has been launched by an Internet-based educational programme, which is sending the cargo container - decorated with colourful artwork by children, and called the 'Boomerang Box' - to a mystery country this month.

The toys will be distributed to needy children by international relief organisation CARE.

Hong Kong youngsters can use their geography skills to guess the mystery destination, and will have a chance to win a cash donation for the charity of their choice. Students can log on to www. and work out the clues posted there. The Web site also features a wealth of curriculum materials on geography, trade, and international relief.

'International trade helps unite countries around the world,' said APL shipping company president Ed Aldridge. 'We think it's vital that school children understand the role that trade and international relief efforts play in our lives.'

The shipment contains materials such as puzzles, crayons, markers, art paper, plastic and wooden blocks, and educational toys for toddlers. Games and playground-type items, including basketball hoops, soccer goals and jump ropes, are also among the cargo. 'These toys and learning materials will help us bring hope to children in a country that has suffered from war and natural disasters. They will be part of our efforts to rebuild schools and help children prepare for a promising future. In the process, students from all over the world will be able to learn how they can help others,' said CARE vice-president Dr Marshall Burke.

The 'Boomerang Box', which sailed from Seattle in October 1997, has been travelling around the world, helping students to learn about geography, trade, and transport.

Where it is going next is anybody's guess.