To promote and provide community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in the remote mountain regions of Central Asia
Central Asia Institute is a registered non-profit organization, founded in 1996.Greg Mortenson, co-founder and Executive Director of Central Asia Institute, began his work in northern Pakistan in 1993.Mortenson initial development efforts were first inspired by the Balti people he met after a 1993 climb of K2 .From 1993-1996, He spent the majority of his time living and working in the rugged Karakoram mountain villages of northern Pakistan.Mortenson learned to appreciate the vitality and resourcefulness of the Balti mountain people, and how remarkably skilled the people are to survive and live in the harshest of conditions.
In 1996, Hoerni established Central Asia Institute, and appointed Mortenson as the director. The initial Board of Directors decided to first focus our efforts on one geographic region, Pakistan's Karakoram Mountains, to gain expertise facilitating community-based projects.the tribal communities of northern Pakistan taught Mortenson a critical lesson in our first five years of existence: Sustainable and successful development can only occur when projects are entirely initiated, implemented and managed by local communities. It is also important to listen and learn from the local communities served, rather than impose external evaluations or judgment of what is best from an outsider's perspective. The philosophy to empower the local people through their own initiative is at the heart of all CAI programs.
As of 2007, Central Asia Institute has successfully established 58 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 24,000, with a emphasis on girls' education. A few additional projects are in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan.
1. To promote and provide community-based education
2. Increase women's education
3. Restore and establish public health and conservation efforts