Patti Bauernfeind, Empowering Through Education While In The Water

Patti Bauernfeind, Empowering Through Education While In The Water

Patti, a marketing professional in San Francisco, endeavors to empower others through education with her www.ikeepswimming.com project.

Like many marathon swimmers, I am motivated by being able to tie my swimming together with a cause that I really care about. For me, it is building schools to help educate children in war-torn areas like Afghanistan. My drive to raise money to build school stems from the tutoring that I do with Afghan refugees.

The kids that I tutor are wise in so many ways, but they experienced inconsistent education when living in Afghanistan. These refugee kids are the lucky ones. Millions of children in Afghanistan do not have consistent schooling or are deprived all together. Educating kids, especially girls, is proven to help bring about peace. This is my hope.

When I swim and encounter something tough like cold water, pain, fatigue or the jellies, I remind myself that what I’m experiencing is nothing compared to what the kids that I tutor have lived through or the violence and poverty that kids in Afghanistan live with every day. I’m inspire by them to swim through the rough patches and to reach my goal which is more than finishing a swim.

With the help of my friends, over US$70,000 has been raised so far to build and run one school for many years. I’m looking forward to continuing to raise an additional US$10,000 for Trust in Education through the 2012 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. The MIMS swim is especially poignant since we will be swimming past the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The USA has a long history of aiding refugees from countries at war like the kids that I tutor. I’m hopeful that Afghan refugee kids and the kids who get an education in Afghanistan will drive change and help to bring about peace in an area that has struggled with war for over 30 years
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