The Girl Effect in Action: “Trust in Education” at work in Afghanistan

I’m reposting this blog, nearly a year later — in support of “The Girl Effect” campaign that is now residing (in part) at this site: http://www.taramohr.com/girleffectposts/

PLEASE scroll on down and read this post, watch the video and yes, visit Tara’s site to see what others are doing and saying in support of The Girl Effect.

You don’t need to be a girl to support the premise of The Girl Effect!

This post is about as serious as Blonde can get. Too many girls and young women are living under inexcusable circumstances… but these can be fixed. Attention must be paid. Action can be taken. Find your way to make a difference. Thanks.

It’s a fact that all over the world, women are the “keepers of their culture.” Ironically and tragically, in many countries — some of the most populous on Earth — the very culture in which women raise their kids denigrates them. The stories of individual girls and young women are movingly told by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn in their new book, “Half the Sky.” I just finished reading it and urge you to read it, too.

I’ve also read Nick Kristof’s op-eds in the New York Times for the past ten years. He tells hauntingly vivid stories of the tragic plight of girls who’ve been victims of sex trafficking, stoning, torture and maiming. Kristof names the girls. Places them in their cultural contexts. And he allows them to speak for themselves. “Half the Sky” and his op-eds offer narratives of specific girls’ and womens’ lives and demonstrate how very simple steps can measurably improve outcomes in education and health care. Helping one girl or a dozen stay in school longer has been proven to help their entire families. We used to call it the “ripple effect.” It works.

Every day, millions of girls and young women are exploited sexually, economically and socially. “Human rights” simply don’t apply to them. In some very populous countries, cattle are more highly valued than women. This can change, and we can be active in this change.

On November 16, 2010, life coach and author Tara Sophia Mohr invited 30 influential women to write about “The Girl Effect” and post to her blog, Wise Living, as well as on their own blogs. Just a few days later, over 130 people have added their posts. This is beyond what we used to call “consciousness raising.” This is motivation to act — in whatever way works for you… and me.


Some of the most oppressed and repressed and brutalized girls in the world live in Afghanistan. You don’t have to fly there yourself to help them.
. You don’t even have to start your own 501(c)(3). There are many organizations already up and running, and you can add your strength, skills and resources to one that appeals to you. Here’s one that with five years of accomplishment and it’s getting stronger every month:

A few years ago, I met a retired lawyer named Budd MacKenzie who lives in the San Francisco area. He was initially inspired by reading Greg Mortensen’s “Three Cups of Tea.” The book changed Budd’s life. He decided he could make a difference. Consequently, he and his supporters have improved the lives of hundreds of families in Afghanistan. It all started with expanding access to education in rural villages.

In 2003, Budd founded “Trust in Education.” TIE started by building a secular school in Lalander, Afghanistan, three hours from Kabul. It opened in March, 2005. As Budd states, “Education is the long-term solution to everything and they love to learn.”

TIE’s schools are open to boys and girls, but it’s been the girls who benefit most. For these village girls, TIE offers the only way out from being married by age 12. They are eager to learn to read and write and think for themselves. Despite the pressures imposed by a tradition-bound community, girls do not want forced marriages, serial pregnancies, and lives spent in household confinement.

Building Zohra's School for Girls
The beginning of "Zohra's School for Girls"

Afghan girls going to school
Girls Going to Their School!

Could be our daughters...
The Girl Effect starts with them

“We have been tallying up the numbers, preparing for next years budget. We now sponsor classes attended by 1297 students, 751 of which are girls. Five years ago there were 90 boys and 40 girls.

That’s one thing about becoming involved in supporting education. The fourth grader expects there to be a fifth grade next year. Our commitment can’t be any less than theirs. Help!!! We don’t have an exit strategy!!”
Trust in Education email, November 17, 2010

THE GIRL EFFECT IN ACTION!
(please ignore the obligatory opening “ad” from Smilebox…the video is worth it!)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Free photo slideshow customized with Smilebox

4 thoughts on “The Girl Effect in Action: “Trust in Education” at work in Afghanistan

  1. If The Girl Effect gave awards to organizations that best epitomized its message, Budd MacKenzie’s organization, Trust in Education (TIE), would certainly win. Totally grassroots, totally effective… TIE is devoted to the empowerment of women and girls of Afghanistan, one of the most challenged countries in the world.

    Thanks to Not Quite Blonde for shedding light on this amazing organization. And if you are ever in need of a lift, be sure to see the Smilebox slideshow above. The huge smiles on the faces of these girls, playing soccer in the dirt in their black robes and sandals, will make your day! We are all the same…

    1. Thank YOU for your joyous slideshow. It clearly was created with sensitivity and love. I watched it about 20 times (no exaggerating!) when it first arrived. I also agree 100% about Budd’s work: it IS the perfect manifestation of what The Girl Effect is all about.

      That is a terrific idea to connect the dots between Trust in Education and The Girl Effect. Thanks again.

  2. Your piece on The Girl Effect and the TIE organization contributed so much to the wider “blog-in” that we’ve all been participating in thanks to Tara Mohr’s leadership. I found this to be an incredibly thoughtful reflection––thank you!

    1. It was a privilege to contribute and I thank you for bringing Tara Mohr to class. Next step: taking action. TIE reminds me that with sense of purpose and focus, amazing things can happen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s