June 13, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Pennies For Peace:

Last Saturday, a sold out audience at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall listened intently as author and co-founder of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), Greg Mortenson, explained his innovative approach of building peace through education.

Mortenson began dedicating his life to expanding education opportunities to the children, especially girls, of the remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1993. He had become lost and disoriented after a failed climb up the K2 Mountain in the Himalayas. He wandered into a remote village and the villagers saved his life. When he learned their village had no school, he promised that he would come back to build them one.

In order to fulfill his promise, Mortenson founded the CAI in 1993, which has helped establish over 78 schools in the remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He explained that international studies have shown by educating girls to at least the fifth grade level would help “reduce infant mortality, help reduce the world’s population, explosion and improve the basic qualities of health and of life itself.”

Pennies For Peace is a program that is part of the CAI and helps raise the money to establish the schools. It helps children to become philanthropists by donating their pennies for peace, and also incorporates a curriculum for cultural education that can be used by teachers. It also raises money for schools from other sources. Thirty-two countries are now participating in the Pennies for Peace program.

Mortenson has also written a book Three Cups of Tea in an adult and young reader version and a picture book, Listen to the Wind for younger children is about his life changing experience back in Pakistan and his work for peace. The title for the book was chosen, explained Mortenson, because in Pakistan the first cup of tea you have with someone is as a stranger, the second cup is as a friend and the third cup is as family. His book is now required reading for all commanders in the United States military who are receiving counter intelligence training.

Mortenson also discussed his opposition to the build up of the troops in Afghanistan that the United States is currently engaging in. He stated that in his view “fighting terror is based on fear and promoting peace is based on hope.” One way to give hope to the children of Central Asia is to educate them so they will have alternatives to the cycle of terrorism and war.

Before Mortenson’s remarks, children from schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, other nearby districts, and area private schools presented Mortenson and his two children with checks for the pennies their schools had collected as part of their January Pennies for Peace campaign.

Mortenson has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Further information can be found at penniesforpeace.org, threecupsoftea.com, and ikat.org.

in News
Related Posts

Martin Cadillac Redevelopment Takes Shape on Olympic Near Bundy

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

West Edge development underway near Expo/Bundy station By Sam Catanzaro Wood and concrete framing is now visible at the Martin...

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Plan to Clear Encampments by July 4th

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team visits Venice Boardwalk Tuesday By Sam Catanzaro Deputies were on the Venice Beach Boardwalk Tuesday...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

Annenberg Beach House Set for Reopening

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Community beach house begins reopening June 15 for splash pad, stand up paddle and courtyard The Annenberg Community Beach House...

Letters to Editor: Main Street Closures

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The following are two letters sent to the Santa Monica Mirror, one in support and one in opposition, regarding a...

Man Attempts to Cut Throat at St. Monica’s Coffee Shop

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Victim in stable condition following Monday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro A man is in stable condition after cutting himself...

Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? Santa Monica Beat – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Will Parking Structure #3 Be Demolished? * Police Make Two Arrests...

Santa Monica City Council to Consider Main Street Traffic Closure

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

City staff recommending closure of the roughly 1,000 feet between Hill Street and Kinney Avenue  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica...

Artists Featured For SaMo Pride Rainbow Road Art Walk

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

In honor of Pride month Santa Monica Pride (SaMo Pride) is featuring a Rainbow Road Art Walk from June 4th-...

Santa Monica Affordable Housing Development Takes Shape

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Pacific Landing apartments underway at Lincoln and Pacific  By Sam Catanzaro A $28 million affordable housing development is taking shape...