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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 established in 1996, since then we have initiated around 500 projects and helped hundreds of thousands of people across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

Target demographics: empowering girls and women in Central Asia

Direct beneficiaries per year: 63,647 people

Geographic areas served: Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Tajikistan

Programs: building and repairing schools, providing support to schools and students, women's vocational centers & literacy programs, public health programs, community programs, teacher training programs and scholarship programs.

Community Stories

96 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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: 4

CAI's focus on education is the basis of my support. It is my belief that women are the change agents for the world. Providing support for the education of all while ensuring opportunities especially for young women and girls is a significant mission of CAI. Educated young women have more opportunities and can, if they choose, have sons and daughters that they pass the importance of education on to. Taking the world out of the clutches of mystics and religious zealots starts with a strong educational foundation. It is the only path forward to the survival of our species and a world worth living on.
Carry on CAI!

1 Suzanne Harrington M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was so moved by reading “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones for Schools” and learning all the life changing work done by CAI that I donate what I can when I can to this day. I was honored to meet and speak with Greg Mortenson when he was awarded an Honorary Degree from Simmons College in Boston. Simmons is celebrating its 114 Commencement this year and shares CIA’s passion for educating women to be leaders and to make a difference in their community and the world. It’s an important mission and I wholeheartedly support CIA and their wonderful work.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I developed my small travel bag business in 2014 to help raise funds so girls in impoverished areas of the world might gain access to education. As a teacher, I was looking for an organization I could partner with where my donation money might make the biggest impact. I considered several different organizations that effectively achieve this goal, but Central Asia Institute stood out because of the rural underserved areas where they work, and the grass roots approach they use in building, staffing and maintaining the schools they help build. By choosing to act as an assistant to a village wanting a school, where the village is committed to helping in various aspects of the schools creation and ongoing work, CAI finds the right balance in helping a dream come true in rural towns and villages. In order to be effective and successful long term, the people who these schools serve need to be fully vested. For these reasons and many more, my education donation dollars go to CAI.

3

Donor

Rating: 4

I served in Afghanistan from 2006-2011 as a civilian advisor to the Afghanistan government. In my travels I saw first hand the great education program that Central Asia Institute provides. An excellent non-profit service to the children of Central Asia.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

It has been our pleasure to support the work of the Central Asian Institute for the past 10 years. We believe strongly in their mission to enducate young people, especially women, in this area of the world (Afganistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan). The work they are about is of value not just to the individual student, but to the development of their countries and to the future of the world. CAI is building bridges between the people the world over. We appreciate the way in which they keep us, as donors, informed about their work and their mission. We will continue to play our part this great work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Central Asia Institute stands out from other education-focused and women-focused nonprofits in its dedication to its mission: to promote girls' and women's education and livelihood skills in the most remote areas of some of the most dangerous places on earth. They work where others won't, or never have, giving thousands a chance at education that they would never otherwise have.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Central Asia Institute has one of the most valuable missions for the future of the societies in Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Empowering girls and women through education has the potential to change the futures of these countries in innumerable ways. I applaud these incredibly dedicated staff here in the US and overseas for their work to make the world a better place now and in the future.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My story began by reading "Three Cups of Tea" and my interest peaked when I heard the author's mother raising awareness for "Pennies for Peace" in local MN schools. I applaud CAI's efforts to support local Central Asian people to organize their communities, and work with those communities to build their own schools. I support CAI's work because I believe education is a powerful tool for building a more peaceful and prosperous future, and I believe that young girls and women will be the key to making this happen. The small amount of money that I send to support CAI will not move mountains, but it might pour a first, and maybe second, cup of tea!

Previous Stories

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

What sets CAI apart is its determination to keep girls in school in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan despite growing security threats. We can't let extremist groups thwart education. At the same time, CAI is not foolish. It leaves the decision whether to keep a school it supports open up to the local school administration, as they are obviously best placed to weigh the risks for the students.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dear CAI,
I am a student, I am working with immigrants, I work with people who barely speak one language. I speak four, and I know them thanks to school. I'm grateful to could have an education. I've always dreamed to be a change in the world, and I understood education is the base. That's why I love what you do. Thank you just to exist, Angelica Capelli

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I support the CAI organnization because they are doing grassroots education and uplifting the local population of educators and students. The book "Three Cups of Tea" was the beginning of my interest, and when they reinvented the organization I was impressed with the integrity it had. I encourage anyone interested in girls education to support this cause. They have now established a Canadian agency allowing Canadians to make tax-deductible donations. I look forward to reading "Journey of Hope" each year and reading about the amazing things that CIA is able to do with very little resources. Keep doing what you're doing, it's amazing!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

CAI is my longest donation organization. I marched with Gloria Steinem in the 1960's. I marched in Civil Rights. I believe all humans, regardless of gender, skin color or belief system, have more in common, than apart. We all have a heart. We all have tear ducts with which to cry. We all bleed red. We are ONE.

I've spent my life working to support girls and women, knowing from my global treks, that education is the ONE THING that uplifts everyone. As long as girls are not allowed to be educated in some Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, among others, we are losing 53% of the possibilities that could make this world better for EVERYONE. 53% of the world's population is female. My goal is to support CAI for these reasons. I am on a monthly, automatic renewal and it makes me feel good to know that Greg M. and his wonderfully dedicated, passionate staff, and the people out in the field (often risking their own lives) to bring girls the books to read, to stop illiteracy, and to help them achieve their dreams.

Girls and women are just as intelligent, just as capable, as any man on this planet. I will continue to write about strong young women, each of my books a donation to this planet's women, honoring their strength, their grit, their dreams that they will fight to achieve. By donating, all of us can help each little girl dream and dream big, and add to the positives of our planet in small and large ways. Our donations give them a chance to do just that. Thank you, CAI. Bless all of you.

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.

1

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?

1

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
1

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.