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Central Asia Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief

Mission: We empower communities of Central Asia through literacy and education, especially for girls; to promote peace through education; and to convey the importance of these activities globally.

Results: Central Asia Institute was started in 1996. Since then we have built 189 schools, supported 120 schools, 65 vocational & literacy programs, 14 community programs, 37 public health programs, 11 scholarship programs, and 14 teacher support programs. This past year we positively impacted over 100,000 people through CAI supported programs.

Target demographics: empowering girls and women in Central Asia

Geographic areas served: Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Tajikistan

Programs: We build schools, provide ongoing support to schools and children, women's vocational centers & literacy programs, public health programs, community programs, teacher training programs and scholarship programs.

Community Stories

84 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I found out about CAI over 10 years ago through Greg Mortensen's books, recommended by my in-laws. I am a regular contributor and continue to follow their work in remote regions and especially applaud their commitment to girls education. CAI are true ambassadors for peace and justice.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I was a middle school librarian when I first heard about Greg Mortenson's book Three Cups of Tea. What a story to tell. The idea that Greg would honor a request to build a school to educate the girls of the village where they saved his life was an amazing venture. But to continue to build schools throughout that area where access is so limited and strife is unlimited shows the depth of character that Greg Mortenson has. He has personally overseen so many of the projects and seen the great need. From schools for girls, he expanded to helping the women of the villages by providing training for them. Then he found scholarships to send girls to University. So many other projects have come true. He has a huge heart. His ability to genuinely connect with the locals so that the projects became their own is what has made CAI a success.

Many years ago I was fortunate enough to hear him in person and meet him when he came to our small community with a presentation of his work with CAI. Greg personifies what it means to be humble at heart. He should never have been vilified in the press the way he was. Those people had no personal idea about his work, and the damage they did at the time was shameful.

I have donated to CAI since the beginning of their mission. I have given out his books to many, many friends. I am a firm believer that education, especially of women, is the only way to bring peace to world full of hatred and strife.

Thanks to all of you at CAI, and thank you, Greg, for all the sacrifices you make and all the many wondrous things you have done. I know that the harsh winter has done great damage to projects, and I hope that those of us who have so much will donate so that the people there in those remote areas can continue on with their mission.

Robert223

Donor

Rating: 5

I first read "Three Cups of Tea" back in 2009. A story of Greg Mortenson's failed journey up Mt. K2 and his subsequent involvement with educating girls and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the founding of the Central Asia Institute (CAI).

Every since - I've become more and more convinced that in the future we will look back and see that peace and prosperity in that region of the world improved when sustained efforts to educate and empower girls and women started through the efforts of the CAI and others.

I've followed CAI over these last 8 years - through thick and thin - and have been and continue to be a proud supporter of their efforts. The CAI's commitment and persistence to accomplishing the mission is inspiring.

I hope you will also help them in their efforts to bring real and lasting change and prosperity to the communities they serve.

Bob N.
Salem, NH

1 Joyce76

Donor

Rating: 5

I am an elementary school teacher, giving my life to try to help children have a great foundation for their futures. I heard about Greg Mortenson's dream to thank a Himalayan village for saving his life by honoring them with books for the children - and then by fulfilling the ambitious effort to build them a bridge and a school.

I heard how surprised Greg was that the funding ended up coming from students saving coins in their classrooms and sending it to him. His story moved my heart and my class joined in the mission to fund him. We found it very exciting!

Greg's vision has grown into a mission to impact local people's views toward peace by bringing provision from America to local people through education. He believes the most powerful people to educate are girls simply because they grow into mothers - and mothers stick around and will teach their children. This is a powerful idea.

At the time I began supporting CAI the teachers in their schools worked for $1 a day. I realized I could give $30 a month and empower another teacher's work in educating eager students. What a great investment! I have been personally supporting CAI through monthly donation for a decade and will continue. I hope you will join me.

Mike212

Donor

Rating: 5

Not only do they do great work educating girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but they regularly communicate about the great work they do. Who run the world?

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Donor

Rating: 5

We donate monthly to CAI and have always been impressed with the amazing work they do to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Donor

Rating: 5

Like so many others, I was inspired by "Three Cups of Tea" to get involved with CAI's work for education in the area of Afghanistan, etc.
The help CAI gives to develop educational facilities, especially for girls in a male-dominated society, is wonderful, and it deserves every help and support.
Peace through education, peace through tolerance can be achieved, even though it is a long, stony road - please, get involved; every Penny helps!

Donor

Rating: 5

Who says one person couldn't change the world? Well Greg Mortensen proved that he could when he stated CAI so many years ago. After reading his first book three cups of tea, I became a donor. That was 10 years ago. I was so moved and impressed by his ability to integrate into this far away culture and become one of them. He is a true hero and I hope many more supporters will continue to Carry on his legacy! My wish is to meet him on day.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

I first read Greg Morteson's book "Three cups of tea" about 7 years ago. That's when my life changed! . I was left in awe of this simple man's spirit and determination to help those who so desperately need help. His courage and perseverance, putting his life at risk several times for strangers... not many people do. So I called the number at the end of the book and started my monthly donations. I am tremendously pleased with the progress of his organization CAI, and am very proud to be a donor. So many young girls now have a future because of him and and others like myself. He is a true inspiration and I wish one day to meet Mr. Mortenson so that I can shake his hand and say 'Thank You' for all that you have done. He is truly one person that I can say has literally changed the world! If you're a reader you must get his first book at least "three cups of tea".

Fazia Khan
Very proud supporter and donor.

Sharmila H.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization doing critical work to educate children, primarily girls but also boys, and to train women to become teachers, health care workers, as well as learn other vocational skills. They are a non political group, primarily located in Afghanistan and Pakistan. their mission is to promote peace through education, and they work closely with each local community which must actively participate in planning and building a school, donating land and in many other ways. CAI's annual or semi annual magazine is beautifully done with wonderful personal and informative stories and articles and pictures, and their yearly calendar is a favorite of mine and a Christmas present to several of my friends. I urge you to support them and their wonderful work. Sharmila Hoffman, Mountain View, CA

Donor

Rating: 5

No better cause than promoting and helping education! CAI is doing amazing work in an area of great need.

Donor

Rating: 5

Educating girls and empowering local communities through CAI allows me to do a small part in building peace, spreading kindness, and fulfilling dreams.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was hooked when I read in Three Cups of Tea that a nation will never get ahead unless/until the females are educated. Sounded like a great way to spread world peace, and I've been donating ever since, as someone else said, through thick and thin.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very practical way to make a big difference with a little donation. The education and empowerment of girls and women is the key to peace and prosperity for everyone. I don't have much money to spare, so I have to carefully choose where my donations will go. This is a well-run, no frills, no hassle charity I'm proud to support!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been inspired by this program since first reading Three Cups of Tea and subsequently meeting Greg Mortenson. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer I could relate to many of the stories and situations Greg described in doing grass-roots intercultural relations. I have also worked many years to improve the health of women and children. I couldn't agree more with the approaches of CAI. I feel I am promoting international goodwill and peace through CAI.

Donor

Rating: 5

CAI fearlessly takes the right approach to changing the world---empowering women and local people. I have gladly supported the mission through thick and thin and always will.

Donor

Rating: 5

Really impressive work they are doing in regions where that even basic human necessities are hard to procure. CAI injects hope and confidence into these little minds. I am proud to be a part of this great organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

We've been donating to CIA and closely following their work for many years. With two brothers in the military it was important to me to contribute in a positive way, building communities in the places my brothers served. CIA has been very proactive in organizing us as donors and keeping us involved in their work.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been donating to CAI since we listened to the book "Three Cups of Tea". In a region that's full of conflicts, poverty and uncertainty, what CAI does sends a courageous and hopeful message to the world. Education, prosperity, hope and peace go hand in hand. Sharing understanding, empathy and love across boarders, races and religious beliefs are what we all should promote and foster. Every little bit helps. I am proud to continue supporting this organization and it's mission.

Jenny119

Donor

Rating: 5

I don't believe terrorism can be defeated militarily. It's like a hydra head - as soon as you chop off one head, seven more grow. I do think we need to work with hearts and minds to foster peace. I have supported CAI's mission of providing education to people in central Asia who need it, especially women and children, by making monthly donations for almost ten years. Our tax dollars go to fighting wars whether we want them to or not, so I want my donation dollars to help create peace.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was inspired to become a monthly donor after seeing an article in a magazine and reading "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. His approach to building schools, especially for girls, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Central Asia areas, is unique and hugely successful. The Central Asia Institute team works WITH villagers, village elders and other key people to get their perspectives, find out what their needs and challenges are, and gain their support. The result? Girls and young women are being educated and bringing wisdom and skills that enhance the lives of their communities. What better way to lift up women in the world and foster peace ?