he manages to raise the money on his own. No sophisticated fund raising schemes are involved. Sheer persistence is blessed by a mountaineering relationship. America
When he returns to Pakistan Mortenson learns the real importance of local support in
Third World projects. Gradually he develops a Balti team and the school is built. As the project proceeds Mortenson gains greater insight into the educational needs of rural and refines his focus to building schools concentrating on the education of girls. Pakistan
Mortenson’s personal network reminded me how Rotarians use local Rotary clubs to work with on Community World Service projects. As Mortenson, through the Central Asia Institute, built schools in Baltistan, so our Rotary district 5550 has been building schools in an area of
in the Ripple Effect project. The best aid projects proceed through the local people. Guatemala
I was struck the lack of government regulation. There were neither permits nor licences nor approvals nor studies nor reviews needed by Mortenson before the schools are built.
When he included
in his efforts I thought of the school our Rotary zone is building to educate Afghani women. Afghanistan
Mortenson describes the challenges of Afghani women seeking to resume education after the fall of the Taliban. Sharon and I met a young woman doctor in
on a speaking tour who only completed her medical education after the Taliban were driven from power. She had been forced to stay home during the Taliban regime. Saskatoon
Mortenson, as with Wiesenthal, an individual totally committed to his work does not adapt well to organization. They would just like money to be given to them for their projects and have the sponsors stay out of the way.
I admire Mortenson’s courage and dedication. Having experienced Rotary I wonder if he could do more had he brought his dreams into a large service organization or whether his stubborn independence produced greater results.
The Canadian military has been trying to win hearts in
for a decade. Who will achieve more – Mortenson without a single gun or the projects supported by the powerful guns of Afghanistan ? Canada