Building With Books

Lessons from the Central Asia Institute

© Ellen Jaskol, 2010

© Ellen Jaskol, 2010

Farsana Hussain, 14, who lost her mother, three sisters and a brother in the 2005 earthquake that devastated Azad Kashmir.

The Philosophy Behind Girls

Why women are the way forward

Educate women, and you educate a community, you weed out extremism. Provide centres for vocational training and support new ventures, and you give the whole community a brighter economic future.

“Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities, but the girls stay home, becomes leaders in the community, and pass on what they've learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, the answer is to educate girls.” Greg MortensonThree Cups of Tea

It was simple observation. According to (CAI Programs 2009) a deplorable lack of basic sanitation caused one in three children to die before the age of one in the remote Braldu Valley, Pakistan. The culprit? Ignorance of simple sanitation. When the communities are offered the chance of a school for their children, or a health clinic with supplies, training and ongoing support, the uptake is feverish. What remains consistent between locations in the fierce desire to learn; to be educated.

"In Muslim societies, a person who has been manipulated unto believing in extremist violence or terrorism often seeks the permission of his mother before he may join a militant jihad and educated women as a rule, tend to withhold their blessings from such things." (Greg Mortenson - Stones into Schools)

The Girl Effect »

1. The Girl Effect


Girleffetct.org have produced some beautiful videos demonstrating the crucial role women play in the health of a society. The solution is to provide opportunities through education to millions of girls in the third world.

2. The Clock is Ticking


The second short movie from girleffect.org builds upon the endearing simplicity and beauty of the message from the first.The simple elegance and obviousness of the solution to poverty is inspiring.