How to Build Schools in Afghanistan
One penny at a time, says Greg Mortenson.
Recently he met with more than 600 Girls Scouts—including me—from San Jacinto Council in Houston, Texas. We gathered in the gymnasium at the AWTY International School to learn about Dr. Greg’s fight to build schools for girls in Afghanistan.
In 1993, during his trip to climb K2, Dr. Greg got lost and ended up in the village of Korphe. After breakfast one day, he saw 82 children—78 boy and 4 girls—writing with sticks on the ground. They did not have a teacher. The village couldn’t afford the $1 a day salary.
"Can you imagine a fourth grade class in America, alone, without a teacher, sitting quietly and working on their lessons?" Dr. Greg asked.
Over the next 17 years, Dr. Greg built 131 schools in the remote mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. His program runs more than 200 schools in the area.
“I realized that education is the top global priority in the world, especially educating girls,” he said. “I also realize that anybody, no matter who you are, can make a difference."
Dr. Greg and his organizations, Pennies for Peace and Central Asia Institute, have made a difference for thousands of children. “We have found that the best support that we get is from the kids,” Dr. Greg said.
Currently some 4,000 schools are helping by just collecting pennies.
Pennies for Peace
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Erin Sheena with Dr. Greg Mortenson in Houston, Texas. (Photo Courtesy Erin Sheena)