How to Change a Women’s Life with ABC










The motivation behind M2M’s mission is that education is a right not a privilege, education can promote peace, and literacy can change lives.   

My good friend, Kate, sent me a link this morning from a NPR story, The Magic of Letters.  It is written by a Nepali woman, Chameli Waiba and tells how learning the alphabet as an adult literally changed her life.   Uncovering the magic of letters led her to find ways to bring education to children in her village and to spearhead women’s microsaving groups to begin a small co-op.  

Similar stories, rooted in the ongoing story of Central Asia Institute’s work in Pakistan and Afghanistan go a step further to highlight the power of an education to not only change the lives of girls previously forbidden to attend school, but also to help promote peace in severely war torn regions.  

Education also increases self confidence, critical thinking skills, and becomes a huge motivator for social change.  In the developing world there is added benefit where many girls become brides as early as 14.  The United Nations’ State of the World Population report from 1990 states that when a girl in the developing world receives a minimum of  seven years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.   With approximately 600 million girls in the developing world, that hits home.

Story after story backs up education in the developing world, particularly that of girls, as an powerful tool in the arsenal to fight poverty, balance gender equality, and fight terrorism. Those ABC’s that my own four year old is learning at school hold the key to immense grassroots change.


photo by Di Zinno

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One thought on “How to Change a Women’s Life with ABC

  1. Lori Simmons says:

    Shannn, I saw your interview on Dateline NBC this past Sunday evening and for days now have been trying to get some bit of information so that I could reach out to you. Finally, I found your name and did a seach on Yahoo. Needless to say, your passion about educating young girls and woman in Afghanistan has had quite an impact on me. I am also a single parent of a young girl who I adopted from Korea 16 years ago. I feel so incredibly blessed to have her in my life and would like to in some way (big or small) help Mountain to Mountain. Your humbleness, passion and endless committement has spurred me to ask “what can I do to help you”? I live in the New York area and am sure that I could reach out to my community and professional contacts to see if we can assist in some way.

    Please let me know how I can help Mountain to Mountain from this part of the country.


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