After reading about people like Greg Mortenson, it can be a little intimidating trying to think of ways to raise funds and get people interested in helping this cause. Greg Mortenson literally had almost nothing when he set out on his mission to build a school for the village of Korphe that had been so kind to him during his attempt to climb K2. Yet that did not stop him. With nothing but his car and the figurative clothes on his back, he built a bridge AND a school for Korphe. All I have to do for my class is get enough school supplies and money to send 30 boxes of school supplies to the children in Afghanistan. I have several family members who have served overseas in the armed forces, and I am glad I have found something I can do to make a difference as well.
School supplies may not seem like much, but education is essential for any kind of long term stability in Afghanistan. With an education, comes options, and for the children of Afghanistan, that means alternatives to joining the Taliban in order to provide for themselves. I’ve already started using my Facebook to tell friends about this class and this blog. I am also in contact with the USF Honors College student council to see if it is possible to do an Honors College Fundraiser.
Part of the problem is also getting people interested, or getting them to care. It is easy to say you support a cause, but for most people in the US, going out of their way to help a charitable organization is too much of an inconvenience. Most people have no real connection to the issue.
Legendary newsman Tom Brokaw went on the Oprah Winfrey Show last week to talk about the issue of the disconnect between most of the American public and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says the reason most people are disconnected from the war is that they don’t have any loved ones who are involved in it as such a small part of the US population is in active military service. As opposed to World War II, in which our whole country was committed to the cause and we were united under that cause. However, most Americans don’t think about the war in Afghanistan everyday. Tom Brokaw says “less than 1 percent of the American population is bearing 100 percent of the burden of battle.”
So one of the biggest obstacles for fundraising for our school supplies drive is making the connection between people and this cause. The education we will help provide will help provide stability in Afghanistan and that stability will help eliminate the need for our troops to be there.