Monday, December 8, 2008

Pennies for Peace

Pennies For Peace ( is a fundraising campaign run by Greg Mortenson, co-founder of the Central Asia Institute. Mortensen sees education as the main road to world peace, cross-cultural understanding and the overall improvement of our global community. I think it’s a project that all schools could and should be participating in, as a way to engage their students in politics and international issues while supporting a good cause.

Students are asked to contribute only pennies — no nickels, dimes, quarters, or dollars — so everyone can find a way to participate. The pennies go toward schools being built in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a project Mortensen describes in his book Three Cups of Tea. On the group’s website, Mortenson writes that “Pennies for Peace teaches children the rewards of sharing and working together to bring hope and educational opportunities to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A penny in the United States is virtually worthless, but in Pakistan and Afghanistan a penny buys a pencil and opens the door to literacy.”

It’s too easy, in this city of plenty, to walk past a penny in the street. To make your pennies count and start Pennies for Peace in your school, visit their website.