Santa Fean Elaine Carson is on a mission to raise $50,000 to build a school in Afghanistan, and you can help her by showing up to an event tomorrow night.
Carson is a Team Leader at Central Asia Institute, the nonprofit founded by Greg Mortenson (author of Three Cups of Tea.) According to CAI, $50,000 is what it costs to build a school in Afghanistan and run it for three years; a teacher's annual salary there is about $600. The money will all go to local builders and teachers in Badakhshan Province, which is northeast Afghanistan. An email send through Mortenson's website requesting more information was not answered right away.
Carson is modeling her effort on a CAI group in San Jose, Calif., who raised $62,000 by hosting events at which attendees are invited to donate. At the event Friday, which will be held at Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living from 7 to 9 pm, two CAI delegates will be talking about the organization's work in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Carson says CAI has built or renovated 170 schools. Carson is also hoping to get women business owners in Santa Fe to support the effort, which is aimed at ensuring Afghan girls get better educational opportunities.
Carson has already raised about $1,300 toward the $50,000 goal through a letter-writing campaign.
"I just hold the vision in my mind of these little smiling children going in to school and being so excited to learn, that just keeps me motivated," Carson says.