It's Tuesday so that means a little blog on Non-governmental organizations (NGO) doing good work around the globe. Today it's the Central Asia Institute. Founded twenty years ago by Greg Mortensen, of Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, CAI builds schools at the end of the road in politically unstable Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Let me explain what end of the road means. Most governments and many NGO's begin in the big cities of a nation and expand health and educational resources outward. The thinking is that they will impact the most people that way but it means people far out on the edges don't get any attention. CAI builds schools so remote that once they had to build a bridge first, once everything was taken in by pack animal. They've built schools in refugee camps. They work in some of the most remote areas of the world. The schools they build are cooperative efforts with village elders and part of the agreement is that the bulk of the student body must be female. They've also built high schools, sponsored even higher education for girls, trained home health workers, taught adult women to read and write, and set up women's centers in villages and cities throughout the region. At this point I think most of the work is actually done by citizens with CAI acting as an umbrella.
Some time ago they came under some criticism about the way they do things and Greg himself was highly criticized but I feel that much was undeserved and as one donor put it. Regardless, of all the criticism CAI builds schools. In my mind that builds peace.
In case you can't tell this is one of the organizations I donate to and I feel good about it every month!
Let me know of any groups doing good work around you.