Friday, April 17, 2009

pennies for peace

Fruita 8/9 School's National Junior Honor Society made it their business to do what they could do to improve the world situation. Represented by several members of the NJHS.
Using a visual presentation, the two explained that Pennies for Peace is non-profit organization that promotes and provides community based education and literacy programs especially targeting girls, who have so long been denied an education in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Here in the United States, education is taken for granted. You see students skipping classes, acting as if bored or whatever else. In third world countries, education is recognized as the ticket out of poverty and hunger. Where a school does exist, one may will find students sitting on dirt floors, eager to learn anything they are offered. One example noted wat that in one village a group of students with sticks were writing in the sand. There was no teacher present, yet these students were practicing what a teacher, who came two days a week, had taught them. Their village could not afford the dollar a month it took to have a teacher for a week at a time.
Pennies for Peace, since 1996, has built nearly 100 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan through the Central Asian Institute (CAI). Some 28,000 students are being educated, 14,000 of whom are girls. There are over 400 mountain villages waiting for a new school.
What is amazing is that a penny can buy a pencil, start an education, transform a life. Just think, one pencil can empower a child to read, write and learn.
Containers for collecting pennies and changes will be placed in all the classrooms in an attempt to raise money for this endeavor.
Remember, one penny equals a pencil, two adds an eraser, 15 pennies adds a notebook. Twenty dollars provides school supplies for a year for one child. A sewing machine (treadle) and supplies costs $50. This enables a family to earn a living. A hundred dollars takes care of a mother and baby for one yeear. Three hundred dollars provides an annual scholarship for an advanced student. Six hundred dollars pays for a teacher for one year. Five thousand equals the support for one school to exist fort a year while Frity thousand dollars will build a school lbuilding with support for up to five years.
The students pointed our how ignorance breeds hatred, terrorism. Since girls are discriminated against in those countries, they noted how important it is to educate them. The whole movement points out how priceless a good education is.