Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stones into Schools

OK, this has nothing to do with fiber art in any way, but I just finished reading “Stones into Schools” by Greg Mortenson. It’s comforting to know something good is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than just the horrors we read in the paper. Greg Mortenson also author of “Three Cups of Tea” (read that one first) has been building schools in these countries for years – with the emphasis on education for girls, believing literacy will do more for peace than anything else. The work he is doing is astounding, but I will let the books talk for themselves as I cannot do them justice.

My favorite quotes are: an African proverb, “If you teach a boy, you educate and individual; but if you teach a girl, you educate a community.” According to the book in military parlance, girls’ education is a “force multiplier” – and in impoverished Muslim societies, the ripple effects of female literacy can be profound… Young women are the single biggest potential agents of change in a developing world. – WOW!

Another quote comes much later in the book when they have also started some classes for older women who lost out on the chance for an education when they were younger. “When women take charge, things start to get out of control really fast.” Talking about how whatever these women learned, whether it be how to read or use a cell phone the knowledge spread like wildfire, Greg’s men in the field couldn’t even keep track on how many women’s lives were being changed.

How lucky/spoiled we are to have been born in the U.S. of A. We can work, earn money and spend our free time making art. We can quilt and make “pretty” things to hang on walls; they don’t have to keep anyone warm.

What a luxury.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I've thought that both these books looked so interesting but have not yet found time to read them. So true about the education of women and also being lucky, not only those born in the USA but fortunately many places in the world. Yes, what a luxury to be able to choose to create art!

I am enjoying reading through your blog!