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Paths Operation Exceptional Child

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Paths Operation Exceptional Child

  1. 1. OPERATION EXCEPTIONAL CHILDAfghanistan<br />Debbie Smith<br />PATHS Executive Director<br /><br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br /><ul><li>Conditions in Afghanistan
  3. 3. Mission Statement
  4. 4. Rationale
  5. 5. Strategic Vision
  6. 6. Resources
  7. 7. Timeline
  8. 8. Public Relations and Media
  9. 9. Bottom Line</li></li></ul><li>Conditions in Afghanistan<br />There are more than 200,000 children in Afghanistan living with permanent disability (physical, sensory and/or mental impairment), according to a 2007 survey by Handicap International – and Save the Children documents that roughly 75% of these children do not receive any kind of formal education <br />In a society like Afghanistan, disabled children are typically shut out and shut away from the mainstream population as there are little or no services available to them <br />It is a heartbreaking and dismal existence for these children as they are often times treated worse than animals  <br />
  10. 10. Mission Statement<br />Build a school for disabled children in Afghanistan<br />Manas<br />Kyrgyzstan<br />Hairaton<br />Uzbekistan<br />Turkmenistan<br />Tajikistan<br />Karshi-Khanabad<br />Turkmenbashi<br />Ashgabat<br />Islamabad<br />Bagram<br />Afghanistan<br />Kabul<br />Multan<br />Kandahar<br />Pakistan<br />Shamsi<br />Karachi<br />
  11. 11. Rationale<br /><ul><li>Children, ravaged by war and disease, suffer immensely and have very few resources available to them in Afghanistan offered publicly or privately to help improve their lives
  12. 12. These children have suffered for years with physical and cognitive impairments due to decades of war, injuries from land mines, the spread of polio, and pre-natal drug abuse </li></li></ul><li>Strategic Vision<br />Take PATHS abroad in an effort to address the educational needs of children in developing countries because I believe firmly that building up the civil society in countries such as Afghanistan will not only help to alleviate human suffering, but will also have profound national security implications for our country.  <br />Build a state-of-the-art school, built and staffed by Afghans that will be a shining example in the region of the good intentions of the American people to genuinely help some of the neediest children in Afghanistan.<br />Offer hope to thousands of Afghans by addressing the dire needs of disabled children that have been largely ignored up to now. <br />This project is quite unique not only because it will be state-of-the-art, but also because it will serve children with a wide variety of disabilities in grades K-12 – certainly a first for Afghanistan and a wonderful contribution to the US hearts and minds campaign in winning over the local population and changing the tide of the war so that our troops can begin to come home.<br />
  13. 13. Why This Effort Is So Important<br />Any child suffering from disabilities can achieve amazing things, become contributing members of society and live rich and rewarding lives - as long as they receive the right help.<br />
  14. 14. Timeline<br />Timeline: School to be completed in approximately 12 months from groundbreaking<br />Production of documentary to begin as soon as funding is secured<br />This is of course contingent upon VISA’s, security, completion of all permitting requirements, etc… <br />Estimated Timeline: 12 Months<br />
  15. 15. Resources<br />Funding of production of the Insight public television documentary that would highlight the need of disabled children in Afghanistan and the goals of the mission to build a school in Kabul, as well as how this project will impact the overall US hearts and minds campaign<br />Funding of construction of the school<br />Funds to staff the school<br />Funds to equip the school<br />Total Estimated Funds Needed: $350K<br />
  16. 16. Public Relations and Media<br />Leverage the offer of Insight, a nationally-syndicated public television program, to produce a documentary on the effort<br />This program will document our travels and our plans to build a school<br />Will highlight our special mission and contribute to the US ‘hearts and minds’ campaign<br />Voice of America radio interview already completed<br />April 2011: Operation Exceptional Child Presented at the National Press Club, Washington, DC<br />
  17. 17. Bottom Line<br />This effort would offer hope to thousands of Afghans by addressing the dire needs of disabled children that have been largely ignored up to now.  This renewed hope in the future of so many of its citizens would also help to embolden Afghans to stand-up against the radical insurgents and fight to take back their country enabling our troops to come home.<br />