Tuesday, November 1, 7:30pm – Non-Fiction
Hope for Afghanistan Comes in Small Steps
A Talk by Budd MacKenzie founder of Trust In Education
“As we withdraw our military forces from Afghanistan, most people are asking, “What will happen to Afghanistan?”
“We cannot abandon the Afghan people,” said Budd MacKenzie, founder of the grassroots, nonprofit organization Trust In Education (TIE). “No matter what happens militarily, we have an obligation to help Afghans reconstruct their country and not abandon them as we did in 1993.”
Budd’s passion comes from his fourteen trips to Afghanistan and the community-based work TIE has been doing there for seven years. TIE has been instrumental in educating hundreds of children and partnering with villages to make small infrastructure improvements. When Budd visited Afghanistan for the second time in the fall of 2005, he met a village leader who pulled out a stack of business cards and said, “All these people came to my home and never came back. I thought you would be the same.” Budd recognized then that work in Afghanistan depended on trust and relationships and he pledged he would be in it for the long haul.
Budd is also adamant about the need to support Afghan women in their struggle for the most basic human rights. “More than anyone else, women will bear the consequence of what the men decide,” he said.
Budd has compelling stories to share about what he has observed and the challenges TIE has encountered. He knows that hope for Afghanistan comes in small steps, but he has seen the difference that Americans can make. His portrayal of Afghanistan is unlike any you have read, heard or seen. Budd communicates an alternative vision that ordinary people – our friends and neighbors – are important because by getting involved, they are improving life for so many Afghan children and families. Visit www.trustineducation.org