If you educate a boy, you educate an individual; educate a girl and you educate a community!


Greg Mortensen’s philosophy is not complicated.  He believes quite sincerely that the conflict in Afghanistan will not be won with guns and air strikes, but with books and pencils.  The future of the country depends on educating the children, especially the girls.  Despite threats from the Taliban and other extremists, Greg, with a small team of dedicated staff,  is building schools in the most remote and war-torn areas of the country.  He believes in the power of education, especially for girls (not an easy task in a culture that usually keeps girls out of school).

Greg’s first book – Three Cups of Tea – is still a best seller and is now required reading for the Pentagon, as well as for aprox 80 universities in the US.  The Pennies for Peace project, founded by the Central Asia Institute, has expanded to include aprox 4,500 schools, including many in Canada.

Both this and his latest, Stones into Schools, are both fascinating and inspirational to read.  They give a unique insight into the world’s most remote locations, and the culture of the people who carry on with their lives under unimaginably difficult circumstances. The stories are inspirational and filled with the heart-warming message that there is hope for political stability and religious tolerance through education.

The ‘Girl Effect’ – Investing in Girls’ Education Yields HUGE Returns:

Girls’ education leads to increased income for the girls themselves and for the country. Increasing the share of women with a secondary education by 1% boosts annual per-capita income by 0.3% (source: The Council on Foreign Relations ‘What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence and Policies from the Developing World).

Educated women have smaller, healthier and better-educated families.  A 2000 study in Brazil found that literate women have on average 2.5 kids, while illiterate women had 6.

The better educated the women, the lower the infant mortality rate.

Educated girls and women are more likely to stand up for themselves and resist violence.

Get involved!

If you are a student or a teacher – get involved in the Pennies for Peace project and make a difference.  Every penny counts … 1c can buy a pencil; $1 per month can educate a child in Pakistan or Afghanistan; $1.50 per day can pay a teacher’s salary.

Make a tax-deductible contribution on-line www.ikat.org.

Go out and buy Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools – both available on Amazon.com.   I loved both these books and you won’t be disappointed!


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About the Author: Katie Idle

About our business, Study and Go Abroad is the 'go to' site for Canadians looking to study abroad, travel, intern or volunteer. We organize fairs twice a year in various cities in Canada, and I'd recommend getting down to one of them to check out all the exciting options. As for me, I'm a business woman and a travel junkie! I have always had a passion for travel and for experiencing new cultures. Brought up in England, I traveled Europe in my teens and early 20s. I have lived and worked on 3 continents; Europe, Africa and North America. I have traveled extensively worldwide both for work and for fun - and still can't believe how much of the world there is still to see!

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