According to the United Nations, more than 700 million women across the world married before their eighteenth birthdays. Two-hundred and fifty million of those girls entered into marriages before they turned 15. October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child. Once the marriage ceremony is over, childhood ends for many of these young girls.
Earlier this year, I received an email from Liz Raja, a fourth grade teacher at Halton Hills Christian School (HHCS) in Ontario, Canada. Mrs. Raja informed me that her students intended to write a book based on one of the Pennies for Peace lesson plans, “More Alike Than Unalike.”
Newton's third law states, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our reaction to terrorism and ignorance, is peace and education. So we are making a pledge.
Women’s Equality Day, established on August 26, 1971, celebrates the day women earned the right to vote in the U.S. (August 26, 1920). The day continues to highlight the need for equal representation of women all over the world.
The morning of August 25, a 10 hour assault on the American University of Afghanistan by unidentified militants came to an end. At least 13 people, including seven students, were killed and some 44 people were injured, none of them associated with CAI.
This July CAI Gilgit facilitated a teacher training course for sixty-four teachers. For ten days men and women from several CAI schools came together to learn teaching techniques, curriculum requirements, and the national requirements each school must meet.
This year the children of Tusyan Village in Tajikistan will finally have a place to plant their own Olympic sports dreams. With help from CAI, the more than twenty-year-old building will be repaired.
But female athletes in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan face different challenges. Their stepping stones to equality are much further spaced out, and have sharper edges. While there are laws ensuring girls get equal rights to sports teams and participation, like Title IX, they do not and governments, conservative family members, or a frightened communities sometime discourage them from participating.
Over the course of 40 days, she raised $235.24 in loose change from neighbors and classmates...in pennies alone she raised $61.50, that’s 6,150 pennies! We rolled a lot of coins and took them to the bank to have them cashed, and then we sent a check, to Pennies for Peace for $470.48!
This spring, CAI received one of the most touching grants for education in our twenty-year history. It wasn’t the size of the grant that honored us the most; it was the group of students from the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston (JTFGB) who chose to support CAI’s mission of peace through education.