Friday, July 16, 2010

Picture Day Friday

Copyright Central Asia Institute

Children of Korphe at their weekday studies in their tiny village on the windswept, bone-chilling cold Pamir mountains of Baltistan in northwest Pakistan.

One day, a lost, sick mountaineer stumbled into Korphe. He was taken in and cared for by these people who had nothing. When he was leaving, Greg Mortensen asked the wise man Haji Ali what he could do in return. Ali said, "Listen to the wind." Hearing the children's voices at their recitation, Mortensen understood. The children had a teacher who showed up thrice a week for a few hours, and they wrote in the dirt with sticks.

A year later, Mortensen returned with stones and stonemasons, and together, the village raised a school building equipped with books, pencils, and teachers.

Pennies for Peace is a program of the non-profit organization Central Asia Institute, founded by Greg Mortenson, for building more such schools in the region. He's the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace...One School At A Time.

The mission of Central Asia Institute focuses on community-based education, especially for girls, in the mountains of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Central Asian countries. Research from the developing world reveals that a fifth grade education for a girl improves not only the basic indexes of health for her and her family, but also helps her spread the value of education within her community. Literacy, for both boys and girls, provides better economic opportunities in the future and neutralizes the power of extremist leaders.

For more than a year now, we've been saving all our change and sending periodic checks to Pennies for Peace. In addition, we donate, along with company match, a chunk of money. We've read and re-read and re-read again Greg Mortensen's books for adults and children.

One man...can much.

Copyright Central Asia Institute