Friday, June 12, 2009

Thanks for Giving to Pennies for Peace

Back in January, we put out a collection box for Pennies for Peace at the register. So far we've raised over $12o.oo! We're about to mail the check (the first of many, hopefully), and it occurs to me that now is a wonderful time to give you the scoop on what it's all about, if you don't already know.

Pennies for peace is a program of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), started by Greg Mortenson, after his experience in Pakistan after a climbing K2, the worlds tallest mountain, back in 1992. You can get the whole story in his bestselling 3 Cups of Tea.

He learned from the Balti tribes in the mountains there that sustainable and sucessful development can only come when initiated and managed by the local community. CAI's mission, since 1996, is to promote community based education, especially for girls, in Pakistan and Afganistan. As of 2008, they've successfully established 78 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, providing education to over 28,000 students.

Here at home, Pennies for Peace educates children, and adults for that matter, about the world beyond their experience, and shows them that they can make a positive impact on a global scale, one penny at a time.

The folks at Pennies for Peace contend that, "Our best hope for a peaceful and prosperous world lies in the education of all the world’s children. Through cross-cultural understanding and a solution-oriented approach, Pennies for Peace encourages children, ultimately our future leaders, to be active participants in the creation of global peace." Pretty cool right!

You may be wondering: why just a penny? Well, the penny, 1% of a dollar, is symbolic of the '1% of Gross Domestic Product' goal set by the United Nations. The goal was for wealthy countries to give foreign aid to impoverished nations each year. One penny will buy a child in Afganistan or Pakistan one pencil, opening the way for literacy.

The collection box is still on the register, so next time your in, drop off your spare pennies, and help to make the world a better place. If you'd like to start your own collection, you can find out how here.


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