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Penny Campaign for Peace

On the five-year anniversary of 9/11, Mrs. Shamim Jawad, wife of Afghan Ambassador Jawad, traveled to Fremont California to speak to more than 1,000 teenagers participating in a special junior high school assembly. The event launched the annual Roots of Peace Penny Campaign to give children in Afghanistan safe schools and soccer fields. Addressing the audience in Farsi and English, Mrs. Jawad said, “We are here today on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, to share the accomplishments of the Afghan people. I am happy to report that the wounds of war are healing in Afghanistan, hope is being restored and smiles are reappearing on the faces of Afghan children. Now is the time to give them the hope, education and resources that every child deserves and demands.”

The Roots of Peace Penny Campaign has inspired thousands of American students and community members to collect more than 10 million “pennies for peace” to protect lives and restore the hopes of future generations in war-torn countries. Afghanistan is among the most heavily mined countries in the world. According to the United Nations, there are an estimated 60 landmine victims each month in Afghanistan alone—half of them are children. Pennies donated by students across the world have cleared a dangerous minefield next to the Bajgah village school in the north, restored soccer fields on former mine fields at the boys’ and girls’ schools in Bagram, and will build new classrooms at a tent school in Mir Bocha Kot.

Roots of Peace is a nonprofit group, whose mission is to transform minefields into farmland in post-conflict countries all over the world. As International Chairperson of the Roots of Peace Penny Campaign, Mrs. Jawad speaks with student groups about the history of Afghanistan and the importance of contributing to Afghanistan’s reconstruction. Recently, Mrs. Jawad joined Ms. Kyleigh Kuhn, co-founder of the Roots of Peace Penny Campaign, at the United Nations General Assembly to address a worldwide audience of children. 

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