Central Asia Institute
Dear Friends of Central Asia Institute (CAI),


Asalaam-Alaikum (Peace be with you).
Please accept my profound thanks for your support and prayers in recent weeks, and my assurances that, despite my temporary incapacitation, CAI is moving full steam ahead in 2011.


Let me assure you that I stand by the stories conveyed in my books, and by the value of CAI's work in empowering local communities through education for tens of thousands of children since 1996. I also want to assure school children collecting pennies that 100 percent of those donations go to build schools, purchase school supplies and provide educational support for children in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. I will speak to you in more detail about these issues soon.


The urgency of CAI's work was underscored for me on Mother's Day by a newspaper story on the countries that are best for women. Afghanistan ranked last. That must change. Ensuring that every woman in the world has a right to good health, education and well-being must be a top international priority.


The story also brought to mind a woman named Bibi Ashia, whom I met in Afghanistan in March. She fled the pre-2001 Taliban attacks in Badakhshan Province with her husband and 10 children. They now live a hand-to-mouth existence in a Kabul slum - a story both heartbreaking and far too common. But Bibi Ashia's enrollment at a CAI women's literacy center in Kabul offers hope. She is acquiring the basic skills necessary to help support her family. She is a role model for her children. Today her future is brighter.


As you may have heard, I am scheduled this month to undergo a surgical procedure... continue reading here 
The New Journey of Hope - Spring Edition  

Download the new edition of Journey of Hope 

Please read reports of CAI's new and ongoing projects, evidence that the phenomenal support we received during 2008 to 2010 is being invested in education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan and now Tajikistan. It also contains answers to numerous questions raised in light of recent media criticism. Please feel free to share this Journey of Hope with your family, friends, colleagues, and classmates.

Downloaded the new edition here

Important Q & A

We heard your questions and got your messages of support. Please read here for some FAQ's and clarifications and CAI and share widely.


If CAI's primary mission is to build schools and educate girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, isn't public education really about CAI's fundraising efforts?


CAI has two purposes- as described in the original 1996 certificate of incorporation and in its application for recognition of exemption as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization filed with the Internal Revenue Service- to establish and support education in remote mountain communities of Central Asia and to educate the public about the importance of these educational activities. From the beginning, Greg Mortenson's presentations (educational outreach) have inspired people to support CAI's mission with time, money and awareness. His presentations and his books help fulfill the stated corporate and charitable purposes of CAI. While it is true that during 2009-2010 a significant amount of CAI's resources were dedicated to domestic and international educational outreach, the result of that effort makes possible CAI's ambitious plans overseas for 2011 and beyond.... To read more Q & A's click here 


Please provide total expenditures broken down in percentages spent on overhead vs. program. Is CAI really spending 59% of earnings on fundraising?


CAI is dedicated to using every dollar as efficiently as possible. In 1996, 100% of donor dollars went to programs, while 0% went to overhead. In 2009, 88% went to programs and 12% to overhead. The average annual percentage CAI has spent on programs throughout its history is 78%. In those figures, the programs category includes money set aside in CAI's Talim (Pashto for "education") Fund, a nest egg dedicated and restricted solely for overseas projects. The amount raised and set aside in that fund constitutes about 38% of the total of about $60 million that CAI has raised in the past 15 years and brings total program funding to a level that reflects CAI's mission and donors' desires. With the explosion of support over the past three years, the Talim Fund has grown from $2 million to $20million, while the number of schools built or significantly supported by CAI increased from 78 to over 170, with plans for more than 70 additional schools in 2011... To read more Q & A's click here 



CAI Shining Lights-Diyas
CAI has received incredible encouragement from supporters and subscribers to Alima. These are the "lights" that have given us the motivation and drive to meet the challenges of our mission, "to empower communities of Central Asia through literacy and education, especially for girls, promotes peace through education, and conveys the importance of these activities globally." We hope you also find inspiration from these Diyas.


Read more here 


To submit your comments to this page please email us at alima@ikat.org.


Articles of Support
New York Times, Nicholas Kristof April 20 2011 'Three Cups of Tea' Spilled
Read the full story here


Los Angeles Times. Kim Murphy May 01 2011 With philanthropist under attack, hometown comes to his defense.   

Read the full story here  

Philadephia Inquirer Opinion by Trudy Rubin | April 27 2011'Three Cups of Tea' author's good work must not be undone. Read the full story here

BBC News, Islamabad and Kabul (Pakistan/Afghanistan) April 20 2011 Three Cups of Tea: The Pakistan and Afghan side
Read the full story here

Dawn News, Bapsi Sidhwa may 1 2011 Stand by 'Three Cups of Tea'
Read the full story.here

The Durango Herald, Emery Cowan May 9 2011 not bitter toward Three Cups of Tea author 
Read the full story here

Expert Click, M Salahudin Khan April 23 2011 A Storm in Three Teacups
Read the full story here

Yass Tribune, Robyn Sykes May 6 2011 Inspiration in the midst of Chaos
Read the full story here

CAI Speaks Out

CAI is pleased to announce that its 2011 plans include at least 60 schools in Afghanistan, a teacher-training program in Pakistan and an expansion into rural Tajikistan. Greg is still unavailable due to medical issues, but following his upcoming surgery and recovery, he fully intends to address the allegations being posed in the media, as soon as his doctors allow. We will bring you more updates (always available on the www.ikat.org homepage) as the Board and CAI's U.S. and overseas staff strive to collect more data and provide further clarifications and answers. Thank you for your continued support in these troubled times. Assisi said, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle," and the light of education kindled by CAI continues to burn bright in the regions we serve.


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