Last night, ASR Special Projects Manager Lindsay Huff took ASR Founders Hunter and Andrea and ASR Friend Laurie Benenson to her alma mater Loyola Marymount to hear author and humanitarian Greg Mortensen speak about his latest book “Stones Into Schools.”.
Mortenson, author of the bestseller “Three Cups of Tea”, has been working in Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1993 after recovering from a hike up K2 – the world’s second highest mountain. In the weeks he spent recovering in the far reaches of a Himalayan village, Mortenson noted that the village children had no school and had to study on exposed rocks in the cold. As an expression of his gratitude, Mortenson promised the villagers that he would build them a school.
Out of what may have been a delirious, rash promise, Mortensen founded the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace. To date, he has built 131 schools that provide educational opportunities to children in some of the most politically volitile regions of the “war on terror.” Of these children the vast majority (48,000 of the 58,000) are girls who often have even less access to education because of their gender.
We were so inspired by Greg. His first school took three years to build, 500 letters to receive his first check, and now he is making a difference in lives throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan, creating a positive lasting influence in the region.