This week I’d like to feature the good efforts of a local middle school participating in Pennies For Peace, a program of the Central Asia Institute founded by the now famed Three Cups of Tea author, Greg Mortenson. Our very own Corona del Mar Middle School aims to collect $1,000 (that’s 100,000 pennies) by Friday! If you have small change laying around and would like to donate, take your pennies to the front office 2101 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach, CA and place them in Julie Oblouk’s mailbox.
Starting from the belief that peace and hope start with education, one child at a time, the Central Asia Institute’s mission is to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. The penny, though small change, packs powerful metaphoric value: being 1% of a dollar, it is symbolic of the “1% of Gross Domestic Product” goal set by the United Nations for first-world countries to give in foreign aid to impoverished nations each year.
Bringing hope and educational opportunities to Afghani and Pakistani children is the obvious end-goal, but Pennies for Peace also teaches first-world children the rewards of sharing and service. It also opens their eyes to important world issues, like the fact that a penny in the US is virtually worthless, but in Pakistan and Afghanistan it “buys a pencil and opens the door to literacy.”
Peace Grl Out.