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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Central Asia Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief

Mission: Vision: To unlock the full potential of girls and women through education. When girls and women thrive, their families, communities, and nations prosper. Educate a girl. Change the world. Mission: To promote education and livelihood skills, especially for girls and women, in the remote regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

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: Central Asia

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

109 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Katie B.7

Donor

Rating: 5

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." An eternally famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, and one of the many reasons why I have chosen to dedicate my life to education, and one of the reasons why I chose to donate to CAI. Thru the CAI institute, children from some of the most impoverished part of our world can receive an education that they so deserve. An education that will allow them to be the positive change we all wish to see in our world.

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 ?

Donor

Rating: 5

The way to make the world a better place is to focus on the educational system of children. Thank you CAI for your intentions and efforts!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to CAI since 2007. It has been wonderful seeing their growth and continued commitment to girl's education!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I truly believe in the mission of the Central Asia Institute . The work that this organization is doing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other developing countries to provide education and advancement opportunities for girls and young women is remarkable. When girls and women are empowered and educated, the quality of life in a community improves for everyone. As a woman in the US who has access to education, money and influence, I stand with my sisters across the world in hopes that all women can experience a better quality of life for their families and their communities. Congratulations Central Asia Institute for the fantastic work you are doing to improve the quality of life for women, families and communities.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I wanted to be a part of this organization as soon as I read Greg's book, Three Cups of Tea. I bought the book as a birthday gift to myself and after reading it I wrote a brief note within the cover encouraging it's future readers to support education for girls through CAI. I then sent the book out into the world and initiated a regular contribution plan myself to help fund the CAI schools.

Donor

Rating: 5

We've set up our donations to Central Asia Institute to be deducted monthly automatically. This ensures we continue to support this admirable, far reaching, non profit organization. With two daughters of our own, we feel good about making education a reality for girls in challenging environments.

Donor

Rating: 5

With all the talk in this election cycle about “winning the war on terrorism”, very little has been said about fostering peace. CAI has determined that the best way to foster peace is through providing education to people who need it, especially women and children. This has been their focus since the beginning, and I couldn’t be prouder to support. If your tax dollars go to fighting wars, send your donation dollars to create peace. And, perhaps, with this model, we could better educate our own population and elect enlightened leaders to instill real peace throughout the world!

Donor

Rating: 5

CAI against difficulties both internal and external has succeeded beyond expectations. My wife and I have been regular supporters of CAI since reading "THREE CUPS OF TEA". Education of girls is the key to peace. No one has done more with less in this area than CAI.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The work done by CAI is critical to improving the health of the populations in the areas they serve. Educating girls in particular decreases family sizes, increases maternal age at first birth, and increases rates of vaccination and extended breastfeeding. Providing education for children allows them to envision a future in which they can surpass the roles their culture would place them in. It allows local children to become nurses, doctors, and engineers who return to serve their home villages. Please continue to support this critical work.
Eric Holden PA, DHSc
Doctor of Health Science & Global Health
CAI Monthly Donor

Sharon192

Donor

Rating: 5

I think the future of the human race depends on educated people and so was drawn by the effort to educate girls and women to better care for families. I appreciate the efforts to include young school children in more advantageous circumstances to participate as well. The beautifully illustrated reports are very informative. I feel that my contributions can really make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Donor

Rating: 5

We were looking for a group that was helping in an area of need that wasn't being addressed by other organizations. CAI was the only group that we were aware of that was helping girls get an education in some of the remotest villages on the planet. CAI has been a consistent and growing presence in helping these villages set up schools where there had been none. CAI has been there to help the villages rebuild their schools when nature has shaken them to the ground. Their efforts and those of the villages they are helping have over time born the fruit of educated young women who have returned to their communities as teachers, healthcare providers and other professions. These returning young women are inspirations for the girls and boys in their communities to strive for something different and to give back. What more would one want from a donation?

Anita56

Donor

Rating: 4

I remember way back in 2006, it was a rainy night on march 20, that I met Greg Mortensen
on his book promotion of Three Cups of Teas on El camino Real, Palo Alto, California.

I admired his passion for building schools for girls in such remote and barren region and echoed my belief that world peace through education, especially so in middle east where
most girls don't have opportunity to get educated.

it has been more than a decade since i became a donor of Central Asia Institute and i will continue to do so because the world is in need of our efforts more than ever.

Donor

Rating: 4

I believe it is important to educate girls and women especially in countries that don't usually do this. It not only helps the girls when they become adults and have families of their own but helps the villages they live in to advance too. I think the world will be a better place when everyone, man or woman has a chance to be educated. Building schools in central Asia is a beginning and I am happy to know that many girls have received an education due to my donations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was initially inspired by Three Cups of Tea - the story of how the idea of building schools in remotest parts of Asia all started. I have been a campaigner for the global environment for decades, and also for women's rights to control their own fertility - only when soaring rates of population growth are cut almost to zero, will efforts to conserve the natural environment really succeed. Vital to this is the education of girls, so that they can aspire to a wider future than constant child-bearing. As teachers, doctors, lawyers they will power the development of more harmonious societies.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Central Asia Institute is a unique nonprofit, doing difficult, complex work of establishing girls schools and promoting women's projects in some of the most difficult, dangerous, parts of the world. I have yet to find someone working in the exact same areas for the last two decades, and able to produce. Central Asia Institute CAI produces a project master list

CAI also unfortunately has been the subject relentless media attacks, which has reduced its funding by 80%. These include flawed attacks by CBS, NBC, Washington Post, Jon Krakauer, Tom Brokaw, and others, some of which regarding financial information is accurate, but the large portion are biased, out of context, misrepresented, and even false statement in the case of CBS, which has produced critically flawed, wildly inaccurate, sensationalized, also been caught flagrantly lying about Benghazi, NSA and Social Security Administration. Instead of following the media to learn about CAI, please look at the Attorney General's report, lawsuit dismissal, IRS investigation report, all which state the organization has not committed any crime or fraud, as the bias media would have one believe. The law is more accurate than the media which no longer has the credibility to protect the fifth estate. Watch the documentary "Shadows Of Liberty" to see how corrupt and flawed TV media has become in a sell-out to corporate conglomerates. Watch "Shadows of Liberty" documentary to see how media has been bought out and TV stations like CBS seek to destroy nonprofits and companies doing good work.

Review from Guidestar

9 Jan_61

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to donate to this organization and have faith in CAI's management. They have addressed funding/organizational issues responsibly and continue extraordinarily important work in central Asia.

Review from Guidestar

21

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this charity for years and intend to keep doing so. A while back 60 Minutes did a piece on this charity to highlight claims of abuse by a climber and author. As I had promoted giving to this charity with family and coworkers, I was interested in learning more about the claims presented by 60 Minutes. What I found was that to learn more about the specific charges, I was expected to pay a fee to access a website containing an online book.

After using every other avenue available and finding out all the information about the charges, here is my summary view of them: The otherwise peerless CBS 60 Minutes was duped into providing free publicity for a money making effort by the person who made the claims.

Furthermore, in investigating Mr. Mortenson's so called lavish personal travel benefits: I looked at the event schedule, trying to find a date to hear him speak in person. Day after day, week after week, month after month was filled with events for faculty, students, groups, and boards. I have had to travel extensively for my job as a staff trainer. I could not have held up under Mr. Mortenson's schedule.

Each day of every month was crammed full of educational and fundraising events throughout the morning, day, and evening. Then a flight to another destination, sometimes with another event taking place upon arrival at that new location. Most of the events were at U.S. colleges and universities, and at community groups where those institutions are located. His detractors would have us believe that he was flying around the world on a vacation junket to luxurious tourist destination resorts.

Also, one reviewer here said building schools is cheap, but staffing and maintaining them is the difficult part. This is quite true. Please use the links here to go to this charity's webpages to see how paying teachers, providing school supplies, and supporting attendance is a large part of their efforts. U.S. government military built schools may be very generous, but unfortunately are viewed by locals as attempts to subvert their culture.

CAI does not just go somewhere and build a school in hopes that teachers and students will somehow show up. They receive requests from village councils to build a school in a remote village, one that the government will not serve with its own resources. In lands that are dominated by warlords, zealous clerics, and tribal chiefs, no one is going to send their children to a school unless such community leaders support it.

The brush with 60 Minutes caused the charity to make many changes to ensure transparency, protect the investments of donors, and ensure the long term viability of its charitable operations. If you want to make your own decisions about these concerns, please visit the archives of the Daily Bozeman, the court documents, the charity's website, and good old Google searches. I trust you will arrive at the same conclusions I have.