Building With Books

Lessons from the Central Asia Institute

© Genevieve Chabot, 2008

© Ellen Jaskol, 2010

CAI scholarship student Jahan, in Skardu, Pakistan, September 2010, where she is continuing her education. Currently, she is one of only two girls to continue their education from the Braldu Valley where Mortenson started his work.

Parallel Initiatives

A broader approach to education

Many needs can be identified throughout the villages of remote Pakistan and Afghanistan that come under the umbrella of ‘education’. While schools are its primary purpose, the CAI recognises that other basic facilities and amenities are required to offer support and education to all aspects of a community.

In addition to schools, their initiatives include:

Women’s centres provide an important place for meeting, discussion and solving of problems in addition to the education provided.

“Hundreds of women gather for a few hours each day in CAI's women's centers for free lessons in reading, writing, math, conversational English, Dari, Arabic, hygiene, sanitation and nutrition, vocational and life skills. The centers, set up in the relative safety of rented houses or teachers homes, cater to women of all ages, from preteens to senior citizens.” Karin RonnowJourney of Hope 2011

Training in maternal health care and midwifery has shown startling results since the CAI began these programs in 1996. In the ‘90’s, in the Charpusan Valley in northwest Pakistan, child-birth claimed the lives of five women on average per year. Twelve years later, the legacy of one local woman trained as a health care worker is testimony to the success of that investment: not a single woman has died in child-birth . (Central Asia Institute 2009; CAI Programs 2009)