Changing the world one school at a time
Greg Mortensen's experiences in the mountains of Pakistan after a failed mountain climbing expedition were life changing. The ways in which that experience changed his life are remarkable and they show how much impact one determined person can have. Mortensen's mission to provide education to children in the Middle East is portrayed in Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace -- One School at a Time as told to David Relin. Mortensen believes very strongly that education is the best way to fight terrorism and religious extremists.
In 1993, Mortensen's climb of K2, the world's second tallest mountain, failed after he rescued another climber. His recovery time in the small village of Korphe made him realize how impoverished the region is. The village could not afford the dollar a day needed for a school so the children were being taught outside with a teacher who wrote in the dirt. "Dr Greg" as he soon became known (he is a nurse), decided to fund raise for a school for Korphe.
He returned to the U. S for three years to work and save and fund raise to get the funds for the first school. This fund raising involved much personal sacrifice and involvement on his part. After completing the first school, he went on to build other schools in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also started the Central Asia Institute to handle details and work on day-to-day managment.
Mortensen experienced the impact of 9/11 firsthand, and witnessed what the American attacks on Afghanistan did to the local people. They were very supportive but he got criticism from fellow Americans because it was thought that he was assisting the enemy.
Besides describing Mortensen's many experience building the schools, and dealings with locals and officials, including the Talliban, this books discusses the culture and the history of this area that is very foreign to most of us. Visit his website and read the book to learn more.