Freedom fighters in Nicaragua and Afghanistan have found allies in a group of local high school students determined to raise money to help the rebels.

Youth for Liberty was started to reawaken people to the plight of the rebels in their fight against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and the Soviets in Afghanistan, said the group's chairman, Steve Densley Jr. Densley said the group has about 100 members from local high schools.The group will hold a dance at 8 p.m. May 6 at The Palace in Provo to raise money for the fighters. Afghanistan fighter Abdul Matin and Nicaragua Contra Joseph Douglas will be featured speakers. Their remarks are expected to be part of a satellite broadcast, which will include the performance of a song written in honor of retired Lt. Col. Oliver North.

Densley said Youth for Liberty members hope to raise about $3,000 from the dance. The money will be donated to the United Nicaraguan Front and the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, both based in Washington.

"We realize $3,000 won't turn the tide of war one way or another. But the point is the message we're trying to send," he said.

"These are important issues that seem to have faded in the minds of the American people. Although the Sandinistas carry on dialogue as if they are following the (Arias) peace plan, it is important for people to realize it has already been broken."

The group has been busy disseminating information to area high school students and showing them a video prepared by the American Freedom Coalition. The coalition will present an award at the dance to the student who has worked hardest to make the fund-raiser a success.

Densley said people need to pay more attention to what the Sandinistas do inside Nicaragua rather than what they say outside their country. And in Afghanistan, he said, the people will continue their fight until the Marxist-Leninist government is overthrown. Both groups need ongoing support, he said.

"This is the critical time for freedom fighters in both countries, and we should offer them our support now more than ever," he said. "Our intentions are not only to bring national attention to these critical issues, but also to interest, educate and involve teenagers in a way that may have a positive impact on things going on in the world around them."