Manitoba 9-year-old writes to world leaders — and they respond

A nine-year-old boy from Morden, Man. has taken up the lost art of letter writing — and he's not writing to just anyone, he's written to every world leader that he could find a mailing address for.

Voth says his favourite response is the one he received from North Korea

A nine-year-old boy from Morden, Man. has taken up the lost art of letter writing — and he's not writing to just anyone, he's written to every world leader for whom he could find a mailing address. 
Levi Voth has received letters from world leaders around the globe, 27 responses for 230 letters written. (Shelly Voth)

Levi Voth has written more than 230 letters and he's received 27 responses. 

Among the 27 countries that responded to the nine-year-old's request for information: Andorra, Germany, Brazil, Liechtenstein and North Korea.

"I'm always pretty happy when I get a letter back," Voth said, but he thinks his favourite response was the one from North Korea, often called the Hermit Kingdom, due to its lack of interest in pursuing international diplomatic relations.

"I really wasn't expecting one from there," he added. "They didn't say anything, they just sent me some newspapers and some books."

Voth told CBC's Radio Noon that it has been a learning experience for him, "Andorra, I had no clue about. Same with Lithuania and Lichtenstein."

Voth said he got the idea from a book his father read to him, "I thought it would be pretty cool to write letters to all the world leaders."

Ice cream with pen pals

Voth asked very specific questions to the leaders:

  1. If I went to your country, what should I make sure I see or do on my visit?
  2. What are you really proud about in your country?
  3. What would you like the whole world to know about your country?
  4. What is the best thing about living in your country?
  5. If you could change one thing in your country, what would it be?
Voth has received responses from: Andorra, Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, North Korea, Lithuania, Slovakia, Mexico, Sweden, Botswana, Croatia, Samoa, Slovenia, Maldives, Poland, Monaco, Estonia, Zambia, Kazakhstan and the Philippines. (Shelly Voth)
"And at the bottom I wrote, 'I can't wait to hear back from you. If you're ever in Manitoba, Canada I would like to go for ice cream with you," Voth said Thursday.

Botswana advised Voth that if he were ever in the country, to visit the Okavango Delta, which was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2014. Denmark told him to check out Dyrehavsbakken, the world's oldest operating amusement park.

Voth said his next project will be to write to all the provinces in Canada and states in the U.S.


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