By Mark Reutter Responding to the crisis in Rwanda, more than 400 students in the master's of business administration program at the UI kicked off a drive Saturday to raise money for children in the war-ravaged nation. The month-long fund-raiser will solicit contributions from individuals, churches and corporations in central Illinois to pay for health kits, blankets, water containers, food, drugs and other emergency supplies for the more than 250,000 children made homeless by the turmoil. The drive is co-sponsored by the Chicago office of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. So far, UNICEF has airlifted more than 50 metric tons of supplies to Goma, Zaire, and has immunized as many as 2,000 children a day from diseases that have claimed thousands of lives. "We want to target children directly and have the money go into relief supplies and medicine that can not be taken away by local authorities," said Jamin Estep, co-chair of Illinois M.B.A.'s for the Children of Rwanda and a second-year graduate student in business. "I think a lot of people don't realize how their contributions can make a big impact in Rwanda, if we can get the supplies there quickly enough." On Saturday, buses carried student volunteers to Springfield, Bloomington and Danville, where they solicited contributions at shopping malls and on the campus of Illinois State University. Other students fanned out to stores and intersections in Champaign-Urbana. David L. Eggers, president of the M.B.A. student association, said the Rwandan drive will continue through Sept. 24. The students hope to raise $25,000 in local contributions and they have challenged students at other M.B.A. programs in Illinois and other states to join them in raising funds. "As graduate students in business we need to learn how to influence and promote economic stability for people in need," Eggers said. "The children in Rwanda represent perhaps the loudest call for help the world has ever heard."