CHARITY CORNER

Slovak children learn about Afghanistan

THE PEOPLE In Peril association has been working on implementing an educational project Panáčik pre Afganistan - naučme sa rozumieť a pomáhať (Little Figure for Afghanistan - Learning to Understand and Help) since April 2004 at elementary and high schools in Slovakia. In an alternative, interactive two-hour lecture, teachers introduce students to the history, traditions, and culture, as well as the current problems of the developing country.

Funded by the Foundation for Children of Slovakia, the US Embassy, and the Canadian International Development Agency, 230 schools from around Slovakia have joined the project. The association plans to integrate this educational development project with its mission of reconstructing rural schools and renewing educational programmes for local teachers and illiterate girls, a program which is funded by the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Slovakia and has been running in Afghanistan since last May.

The two-hour lecture on Afghanistan at Slovak schools explains why it is necessary to help people in developing countries. It involves Slovak teachers, and Tom Penny, a British volunteer. After participating in the lecture, if the students decide that they would like to directly help the Afghan children, they are invited to take up a collection at the school. So far, around 100 schools have joined the collection, gathering a total of Sk172,000 (€4,300) as of July 1. The money will go towards reconstructing a rural school in Afghanistan.

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