Gem Munro, director of the Amarok Society, spoke to our club at our June 4 meeting.
Munro told our club how his organization is fighting extremism with education.
Below: Gem Munro (right) accepts a cheque for $3,000 on behalf of the Amarok Society from the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove.
The Amarok Society determined that simply building schools in the slums of Bangladesh would not accomplish their goal.
Instead, they create schools that teach mothers in those communities, who in return promise to teach at least five children everything they have learned.
The system has many success stories, including Shuly, who at 14 was married off and due to her financial situation and prejudices in that country, never received an education.
When she wanted to obtain an education through the Amarok Society's Women's School, she was laughed at and told she would fail.
Shuly is now a teacher at an Amarok Society Women's School sponsored by the Rotary Club of Calgary-Crowchild.
Her daughter, Poppi, is now an assistant teacher at the school with aspirations of advanced education. She is 18 and unmarried.
Munro says they have 24 schools, but they need more.
Our society's greatest failure of omission, he says, is its failure to educate.
And by doing so, we are providing extremists with people without the ability to think critically or analyze the lies they are being told in order to carry out acts of terrorism. Munro believes that more of these schools can prevent people in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria from being drawn towards extremist groups.
The schools cost $9,500 in their first year of operation and $8,500 each year after.
Rotarian John Oldham brought up a trip to Bangladesh with the Rotary Club of East York that any Rotarian can join them on.
For more information on that trip, contact the Amarok Society or Nick Lawley of the Rotary Club of East York.