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Local peace group works with international activist

Traveling to Afghanistan several times a year, Vorgetts has opened hundreds of literacy classes for women to learn to read and write, opened vocational training facilities to teach career skills like sewing, embroidery, carpet weaving, jewelry and candle making, silk weaving, raising silk worms and formed women co-ops where they can sell their products in a market. She builds health clinics and provides medical supplies, constructs school buildings, donates pounds of school supplies, finds people to sponsor orphans and most recently is raising money to dig wells for clean water. She has established family guidance centers, women shelters for the abused or endangered and developed a legal system to help women who are abused or in jail.

"I want to help women be self sufficient and empowered. I want to help young girls be educated. Many aren't allowed to go to school if there's no building because of the threat of abduction or rape. I have girls writing to me and begging me to help them," said Vorgetts.

Despite the United States' attempt to bring democracy to Afghanistan, Vorgetts said the American presence has done more harm than good and women are worse off than they were before 9/11. That's why she believes strongly in bringing about change without military or violence.

"The whole world was talking about Afghanistan and saying 'we're going to liberate it and help the people and they'll have democracy and freedom and a better place to live and we'll get rid of the Taliban and those hijacking Islam' but democracy was not brought there. Instead, the same people who committed crimes against humanity"thieves and thugs"those corrupt people are back in power," said Vorgetts. "You can't bring peace with weapons. If we're in the hearts and minds of the people over there and start respecting humanity, that will bring us together."

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