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