Over 150 million children in the world (age 5-14) are deprived of education due to poverty, slavery, sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, racism and religious intolerance. The cost of educating each child in the developing world is about $1 per month per child. Several global studies show that educating a girl to at least 5th grade education level, is the most significant factor in impoverished societies to decrease infant mortality rates, decrease/stabilize population growth and significantly improve the basic life quality over a generation.
“The best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women and girls”
Over the past seven years,Trust in Education has expanded from one school of 120 children, to supporting classes in 10 villages that in 2010 helped educate more than 1,250 children. They have worked with the villagers to jointly prioritize their other needs, funding economic development projects and other wish list items, so they can better support their families. They have instituted pilot projects such as microcredit financing and solar ovens. And, Trust in Education has a “play strategy” which supports playgrounds and soccer programs, both to improve school attendance and because they recognize how important it is to incorporate fun into a child’s day just like our own children have.
Our group of women is working under the name of Empower through Education (ETE). We are raising money in support of Patti's big swim and Trust in Education. Trust in Education is a grass-roots organization, providing educational, economic and health care assistance to villages in Afghanistan. They inform and enlist Americans to become directly involved in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. They serve as a tie between Afghan villages and American communities, and appeal to hearts and minds in both. Their philosophy to help bring peace and hope through education is an inspiration to us. For more information: www.trustineducation.org .
Patti's Bigs in 2012
Some of you may have heard about Patti's challenge to swim across the Monterrey Bay (23 miles). Due to the nettle jelly fish, she reset her sights on swimming across the Catalina Channel. She successfully completed this 21 mile swim in October 2011 and has several challenging swims in store for 2012.
Tampa Bay Marathon - 24 mile swim across Tampa Bay on April 21st
Manhattan Island Marathon Swim - 28 mile swim around Manhattan on June 23rd
Her training began in January. She spends up to 2 hours before work and 2 hours after work in the water during the week and swims more on the weekends. She practices treading water on her back while eating and drinking. The challenges of these swims include tides, wind, waves and marine life (friendly sharks of course). She takes on these challenges without a wetsuit. And, she is always supported by an amazing crew.
Beyond the energy and determination in the physical challenge, Patti (with her big heart) dedicated this swim to help educate children, particularly girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Patti has spent the past 6 years tutoring Afghan refugee children in the San Francisco Bay area. She has seen first hand the struggles of the Afghan refugees and the significant trauma of endless years of warfare and a lack of education, particularly for women and children.
“If you educate a boy, you educate an individual – if you educate a girl, you educate a community”. An old African Proverb
Empower Through Education
For more about Patti's other swims, visit her website www.ikeepswimming.com