Mortenson and the CAI build schools because they care about helping children. Because educating girls has the biggest impact on quality of life for the entire village, they focus on enrolling girls. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, the CAIs work has taken on a greater significance for Americans. In much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only schools available are Islamic madrassas, which are often run by extremist Muslims who use them to advance anti-American agendas and recruit for the Taliban. Mortenson believes that if children are offered options for balanced, moderate education, support for terrorists will eventually evaporate. Therefore, the only sustainable way to fight terror is to improve access to education in the Middle East.
Since its inception, the CAI has expanded to provide women's centers and public health resources in addition to schools, teacher training, and teacher salaries. The New York Times #1 best seller Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time, coauthored by Mortenson and journalist David Oliver Relin, tells the CAI's story.
For more, visit https://www.ikat.org/