Friday, August 27, 2010

Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, In Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson. Since he nearly lost his life in 1993 as he attempted to climb Pakistan’s K2 (large mountain), Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls.
Having previously read Mortenson’s best-seller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time (and the young reader’s version, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World… One Child at a Time; and the picture book version, Listen to the Wind), I feel that I have a really good idea of what Mortenson has been doing!
If I had anything to say about it, Greg Mortenson would be getting the Nobel Peace Prize. Not only did he begin his work to build schools and promote literacy for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan without any official organization or government assistance, but he has kept on spreading literacy far past the culmination of his original goals.
When asked why teaching girls is so important, one of Mortenson’s responses is based on the an old saying, “If you teach a boy, you teach an individual; but if you teach a girl, you teach a community.”
Mortenson’s schools are not for proselytizing or teaching children to be like Americans. They are promoting literacy, not ideologies. Throughout the years this approach has been able to cut across barriers of politics, religion and class to win the hearts of the world (except for the Taliban).
Three Cups of Tea is now required reading for officers who are serving in Afghanistan and the American military forces are beginning to realize that ‘books, not bombs’ might in fact be a better strategy to bring lasting peace to the region.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home