Sunday, October 12, 2008

Check It Out... The Central Asia Institute

The Central Asia Institute (CAI) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is "to promote and support community based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan." This formal statement of purpose is an understatement for the things they do and have achieved.

The CAI was born of Greg Mortenson's one-man efforts to build schools in the farthest flung regions of Pakistan. After a failed attempt to summit K2 and his experiences in a local village immediately following, Greg committed himself to giving back to the people of the region by building schools. He did this solo for many years by cultivating relationships with local village leaders, religious leaders, and businessmen before the CAI was officially born in 1996. His goal then and now is to see the rural children of Pakistan and Afghanistan -- especially girls -- provided with a "non-extremist education" by local teachers.

In a part of the world where we think of the Unites States being hated, Greg Mortenson and the CAI are making a huge difference. Not only are they doing tremendously good work for the children of the region but they are helping to rebuild our nation's reputation and image one school at a time.

Check out the CAI web site at

Read Greg's own story and the history of the CAI's work in his book Three Cups of Tea. An incredible read.

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