Minnesota 4th-grader raising money to feed an entire village in Haiti for a year

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A 9-year-old Prior Lake girl has been working to raise enough money to feed a village in Haiti for a full year, and on Saturday Gov. Mark Dayton recognized her for all of her hard work.

Last year, Sanya Pirani saw a video of a starving child and was inspired to help, so she decided to start raising money through Feed My Starving ChildrenMPR News reports.

"Around 16.9 million kids die each year that are under the age of 5 years old. I strongly believe in basic human rights, that's why I want to help poor people,” Sanya told FOX 9.

She hopes to raise $24,090 by the end of the year – that's enough to feed a village of about 130 people. But Sanya decided that's not enough, so she set the ultimate goal of raising more than $56,000, which is enough money to feed a village of 700 people for an entire year.

"I believe helping a child means helping the future of a community," Sanya's website says.

So far she's raised more than $17,800 towards her goal, her fundraising page shows.

“Most children do a lemonade stand or something like that,” Katie Olson, development assistant for Feed My Starving Children, told Sun This Week. “It’s unusual to see a child raise so much.”

And on Saturday, Gov. Dayton recognized Sanya for her community services to local and global society when he stopped by Feed My Starving Children's facility in Eagan, a post on her Facebook page says, where Sanya and more than 100 volunteers joined her to pack up food to send abroad, MPR News notes.

"This is just extraordinary what you do," Dayton told Sanya, MPR News reports.

Sanya is also fundraising to help people in her community. She set a goal of raising $1,000 for the Scott County CAP Agency food shelf, as well as collecting 500 lbs. of nonperishable food items, which she's very close to achieving, her Facebook page notes.

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