Time Line Links Up 8 Countries

Countries from North to South Pole come together for millennium project

It is called the "Greenwich Meridian", an invisible line that connects the North Pole to the South Pole and dictates how the world tells time. There’s 8 countries that lie along the line and those countries are getting together to celebrate the year 2000.

The Greenwich Meridian was formed more than 100 years ago, when representatives from 25 countries got together in Washington D.C. and decided it was time to establish a fixed time system. So in 1884 they decided to draw a fixed line. All countries then set their time according to where they fell in relation to that line. As it turns out 8 countries run along the line.

With the dawn of a new millennium drawing near a television anchorman from Britain, Jon Snow, decided it was time to find out more about the countries connected to the line, and the millennium project "On the Line" was born. Snow first touched base with all eight countries connected to the line, which includes Britain, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo. Representatives from each country agreed to get involved in a project together.

"On the Line" hopes to give the 8 countries a chance to exchange ideas, entertainment and information. Organizers also hope they will be able to link up 50 British towns to African communities to learn about the nations’ differences and similarities. They will also connect 300 schools in the eight countries so the students will get involved in the project.

A British adventurer is also planning a special event, which will include all 8 countries. He is going to lead a team from the North Pole to the South Pole. This will mean the team will have to use skis, bicycles and kayaks to cover the distance.

Many of the projects are already underway for "On the Line". A small village in North Whales is already sending a packet of photos, letters and other items to a small Ghanian community. The children will exchange the items from one country to the other and in the process learn about the other culture.

The British government is doing what it can to help the children with this project and has put up a $2 Million grant. Full Text Available

DATE: 10/14/99

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