Monday, November 30, 2009

38. Afghanistan

Dear Followers,

Tomorrow will be a big day as I begin the process to see where I fit in the CCSVI puzzle as discovered by Dr. Paolo Zamboni, who has developed an exciting new (but simple) treatment for ms. I'll keep you posted...

Tomorrow is also the day when we will learn what President Obama plans to do about Afghanistan. Along those lines, I wanted to recommend a new book by Greg Mortenson, who wrote "Three Cups of Tea."

In his new work , "Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books Not Bombs, In Afghanistan and Pakistan," he writes about the value of educating girls who live in the heart of Taliban country. In that part of the world, Just one year of schooling "will dramatically raise a girl's later economic prospects, and where girls get to fifth grade, birth rates and infant mortality plunge."

Mortenson has founded an organization called The Central Asia Institute (CAI), which - in Pakistan - now has 91 schoolhouses that serve 19,000 students (three-quarters of which are girls). In 2004, CAI opened its first school in Afghanistan; today there are 39 (as well as tent schools in the refugee camps), and the organization now educates 39,000 Afghan children most of who are girls.

Back in 2000, when the Taliban was still in power, only 800,000 children in Afghanistan (which has a population of almost 33 million) attended school. And very few of the students were girls. Today, 8.5 million Afghan children go to school, including close to 2 million girls.

Mortenson's approach to education - and the importance of literacy for girls - has so affected the area that his book "Three Cups of Tea" is now required reading for all Special Forces soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.

Looking forward to your comments...

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