As 2014 draws to a close, Pax Populi would like to share with you a couple of ideas expressed to us by an Afghan student in the Pax Populi Tutoring Program, Ghulamsakhi Tanin (or simply “Tanin,” as he is called). Tanin is a young man from the Afghan province of Bamiyan who is now studying Construction Engineering in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Tanin wrote, “To be candid, for me, nothing on earth is more important than peace…. My dream is peace.”
Soon thereafter, he wrote to us again to express his gratitude for participating in our program and said,
“I found a lot of good friends because of my English. I found the world really wide with the English language. English is a door for development and the modern world. English is the language of technology; it is the language of [our] era! I want to be a part of this modern world.”
Let us also mention Charlotte Poth, one of our dedicated tutors based in Connecticut who communicates an irrepressible joy whenever she talks about her Pax Populi work with a young woman named Mena at a high school in southern Afghanistan.
Mena is an extremely dedicated student who is preparing for professional studies in midwifery. Charlotte recently wrote in her post-session report, “Mena learned the definition of a ‘Renaissance Man/Woman’ during our session. For, she is one! Mena is a poet, and an artist.”
And through the study of English, Charlotte is also providing Mena with the support and encouragement she needs to believe in herself and to engage more confidently and capably with the world.
Charlotte and all of us at Pax Populi love working with people like Tanin and Mena. In them and people like them, we see the surest pathway to a lasting peace in Afghanistan; in them our hope is affirmed. We are honoured to be able to work with such people to advance our goal for stability and peace.
Continued Support Needed
It is our long term commitment to help the Afghans bring peace to their own country and, to that end, we are building a global community of peace workers.
Case in point: A few weeks ago, we held and online Pax Populi International Teachers Meeting. At the meeting we had teachers and coordinators from six countries on four continents: South Korea, India, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cotes D’Ivoire, and the United States. Everyone was delighted to connect with some of their colleagues. It was touching to see the level of support and dedication of so many of our teachers and administrators.
In 2014 we had the most diverse group of tutors and teachers ever, including a United Nations peacekeeper, a university student working under the guidance of a professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia, our youngest tutor, a 16 year old American high school student who was guided by her parents, and we are just about to add two new teachers, one from University of Central Florida and another from Bethlehem Moravian College in Jamaica. We are also excited as we are about to launch our first work with Afghan refugees living in Quetta, Pakistan.
To meet the challenges, we have two big projects in the pipeline: the development of:
1. A new Pax Populi website, and 2. An online school.
Our website (www.paxpopuli.org), serves as the channel through which most of the world knows about our work. For this reason, we are currently working to make it a much better and more professional platform for sharing news and ideas connected to our programs. We expect to launch the new site by February, 2015. We are also working on the development of an online school, to be called, “Pax Populi Academy.” We are currently testing a prototype, and expect to launch the Academy in the first quarter of 2015. The new school will open up fresh opportunities for expanding our work and doing it better. We do a lot with very little, but we need to take our work to a higher level, and we cannot do this without financial support. We hope you can help.
The United States and other NATO allies have just ended its combat mission in Afghanistan and yet fighting continues: the situation in Afghanistan and throughout the region remains very troubled. The need to work for peace has never been greater. This is not simply the job of national leaders and diplomats it is our job as compassionate members of the human family.
And here is the crucial idea: The key to peace in Afghanistan is not by more bullets and bombs, but by helping to empower young Afghans through education and a network of social relations build on kindness and understanding it is by helping people like Tanin and Mena. This is neither rhetoric nor idealism; it is our very real commitment that follows from the daily dedication of the Afghans students with whom we work. We are here to lend them a hand in their struggle to rebuild their own country. They can do it, but they need our help.
If you would like to support Pax Populi, we would be very grateful.
You can donate online at: http://www.paxpopuli.org/donate/ or you can also send check donations to Pax Populi’s parent nonprofit organization:Applied Ethics, Inc., 46 Chestnut Street, Marblehead MA, 01945
Many thanks and we wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year