Statement Regarding Media Misinformation About Greg Mortenson and CAI
The work being done by Greg Mortensen and the Central Asia Institute (CAI) is conducted in some of the most difficult and isolated places on Earth, and that work continues. Please visit www.ikat.org for all media statements & press releases.
Bozeman, MT (I-Newswire) April 26, 2011 - The work being done by Greg Mortensen and the Central Asia Institute (CAI) is conducted in some of the most difficult and isolated places on Earth, and that work continues. Students are attending CAI schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, teachers are teaching and laborers are working on maintenance and preparing for new construction. Women are meeting at the vocational centers and instructors are providing literacy, nutrition and sanitation lessons. CAI continues to improve tens of thousands of lives, especially for girls.
• To date, CAI has established or significantly supported more than 170 schools. CAI empowers communities to determine the educational needs particular to their community, which includes a community’s commitment to provide resources that match CAI’s support, prior to receiving CAI funding. CAI empowers local communities to build new schools, expand existing schools, provide teacher training, school supplies, health care, libraries, women’s vocational centers, and a variety of educational opportunities, depending on the needs of the communities. These long-term local relationships are key to sustainability.
• CAI staff in the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan is in the midst of a comprehensive inventory of all schools and programs, as well as an independent review of allegations made by media and others to ensure our information is current and accurate.
• The contents of Greg Mortenson's books "Three Cups of Tea" and “Stones Into Schools” are based on events that actually happened. Greg Mortenson prepared a point-by-point rebuttal to the accusations made by Jon Krakauer and Mansur Mahsud in “60 Minutes” (April 17, 2011). http://www.ikat.org/wp-includes/documents/gmresponse.pdf. Media allegations that Greg did not visit Korphe in 1993 are false; he first visited Korphe in September 1993 after failing to reach the summit of K2 and he later built a school there. And Greg was, in fact, detained and held against his will in 1996, with his passport and money confiscated, although his captors did treat him well, as he accurately described in his book.
• Greg Mortenson and CAI have acted in conformity with CAI’s mission and rules and regulations. Donor funds are being properly spent on the education mission of the charity, which includes building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and educating the American and international public about the importance of education to building a lasting peace. http://www.ikat.org/wp-includes/documents/boardstatement4-16-11.pdf
• Central Asia Institute's goal is full transparency. CAI intends to show that our supporters' donations have been used to further our mission of education, especially for girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 990 Forms for every year since CAI's inception are available on our website, http://www.ikat.org/about-cai/financials/
• Central Asia Institute (CAI) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to using every dollar as efficiently as possible, with a goal to spend no more than 15% of a donor dollar on overhead (administrative and fundraising costs), and to send 85% of every donor dollar to programs.
• CAI has specific, restricted accounts, as outlined on our donation page. An unrestricted donation allows CAI to apply contributions in the most strategic way possible. However, contributors can restrict their donation to a particular country and/or program. These programs/accounts include: Pennies for Peace, schools, overseas general support, girls education/women’s development, teacher’s salaries, student scholarships, public health, Afghanistan & Pakistan program support. Donors have the option to restrict their contribution to any one of these accounts. When a community requests CAI’s help on a project, these restricted accounts are used, which includes the Pennies for Peace fund.
• Pennies for Peace is a program of Central Asia Institute, with its own department and staff. The Pennies for Peace program tracks its own expenses, however all expenses incurred by the Pennies for Peace program, such as staff salary, travel, materials, administration are covered by CAI from the unrestricted fund. Pennies for Peace restricted funds have never been used to purchase Greg Mortenson’s books or other CAI expenses. Pennies for Peace donations are 100% restricted for the use of educational support in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
• CAI’s staff is very small and uses its web-site www.ikat.org to provide pertinent information. Voices of Support: Statements Refute Claims Against CAI/Mortenson, which includes accounts from individuals who have visited CAI schools and programs can be accessed here. http://www.ikat.org/wp-includes/documents/CAI0421Releaseweb.pdf
• Since 2007, CAI has produced an annual publication that documents the communities and people we serve. The 2010 Journey of Hope is available on-line.
http://www.ikat.org/publications/2010JOH.pdf. It includes pictures and stories from the schools and programs we support.
• Executive Director Greg Mortensen is still awaiting heart surgery. In consultation with his medical team, he will not be available for interviews until he regains his strength.
P.O. Box 7209
Phone : 406-585-7841
Published On:April 26, 2011
Print Release:Print Release
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