Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School At A Time, and founder of Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, will visit Girls Preparatory School Aug. 25 to thank the student body personally for endowing a girls’ school in Pakistan. A separate talk at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s Frierson Theatre will be open to the public. There is no charge for the event
In October of last year, after reading Greg Mortenson’s best-seller, Three Cups of Tea, students were inspired to focus their annual weeklong fundraising event, Robin Hood, on building a girls’ school in Pakistan. With the idea that one person, or one school, really can make a difference on a global level, the GPS community focused all of its energy and resources to raise enough money for the school in Pakistan under the auspices of Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute.
They knew the cost to build a school and endow it with furniture, textbooks, school supplies, and a teacher for five years was $50,000, a seemingly insurmountable amount of money to raise in just the one week. But with the theme of “Come Together,” the school community raised over five times the amount usually collected during the annual fundraising drive for community and national charity organizations. GPS students were delighted and proud to present the check for nearly $60,000 to Mr. Mortenson in January at a national independent school conference at which he was the keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, the impact of the event continues to spread. The senior who led the Robin Hood fundraiser is taking a “gap” year from Guilford College and has joined Students’ Partnerships Worldwide for an upcoming trip to Nepal, where she will serve as a volunteer peer educator and live full-time in a rural community leading health, environmental and education programs.
A GPS junior went with her family this past summer to Pakistan and made several visits to schools built and run by the Central Asia Institute. Greeted with flowers from the many girls whose lives are being changed by education, she and her family distributed books, pencils, and other school supplies purchased with additional Robin Hood funds.
Mr. Mortenson will speak about the impact that community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, can have in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In addition to being a co-author of the #1 New York Times best seller, Mr. Mortenson is also founder of Pennies For Peace.