Backpacks for Afghanistan Fundraiser


By Nicole Lamb
Hopkinton High School has been asked by Mr. McFarland, a Hopkinton High School staff member currently on his second tour of duty since April 2008, to participate in an educational fundraiser. This fundraiser is by the Backpacks for Afghanistan project, and its goal is to collect 5,000 backpacks with the same school supplies in each of them for children in Afghanistan. The backpacks are meant be as similar as possible in appearance, so each child gets a similar backpack to the next. The contents of every bag must be the same, as well. The list of school supplies that should be inside each is very modest, so filling them all up doesn’t seem like a task too difficult to handle. The lists asks for 5 pencils, 3 pens, 2 erasers, 2 notebooks, 8 count box of colored pencils, 2 folders, and 1 small pencil sharpener for each child. Each backpack must contain this list of items exactly, because it is only fair that they all recieve the same, thoughtful, gift. Also, items should be kept as plain as possible, so volunteers should try to avoid buying items with too much English writing on them. Hopkinton High School teachers who are excited about this fundraiser hope that our school can compile at least 200 backpacks by January 1st, 2010.

This program has been brought to Hopkinton High school’s attention because of the extreme need for proper education in Afghanistan. Currently, only 28% of  citizens of Afghanistan are literate: 14% females and 43% males. Even though the student enrollment increased 500% (from 900,000 to over 6.4 million) since 2002, more than half of all school age children are still out of school. Not only is this an issue, but only between 30,000 and 40,000 students graduate from high school every year and only one third of them are admitted into universities while the rest join the pool of unemployment. These, along with many other statistics, further demonstrate the need for programs such as Backpacks for Afghanistan. The goal of this program is to help these students have the physical resources to get the most out of their education, so they will have the chance to be successful after graduation and for the rest of their lives. To participate in this fundraiser would be a worthwhile, educational endeavor and actively participating in it will help Hopkinton High School further live up to its civic expectation to give to not only to our school, but to the greater community.

For additional information, please e-mail Mrs. Leach as [email protected]