Educate a Girl – Change the World

A year or so ago, a great video clip came out from the Nike and Novo groups about something called the Girl Effect. It highlighted the incredible power of educating girls in developing countries.

This morning, I had the chance to listen to Greg Mortenson, author and subject of Three Cups of Tea. If you haven’t heard the story yet . . . quick Cliff Notes version:

  • Guy tries climbing tall mountain in Central Asia, fails and ends up in small Pakistani village hungry and sick. Villagers care for him, he pledges to come back and start a school, specifically a school for girls. He does. Goes on to help start over 140 schools, most of them for girls. Guy also begins working to educate others about the danger of landmines, especially in Afghanistan.

    Greg with students

That guy is Greg Mortenson.

Since 1993, Mr. Greg (as he’s called in Central Asia) has worked diligently to improve educational conditions in third world countries with a special focus on girls. The Girl Effect in actual practice . . . through his organization Central Asia Institute.

The book, Three Cups of Tea, is his story. A villager told Mr. Greg,

The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time, you are an honored guest. The third time you become family.

So now that he’s part of the family, his goal is not to help people but to empower them. Greg says

there is a big difference. Helping people is us doing and them listening, empowering people is us listening and them doing.

And specifically he wants to help empower locals around the world build schools for girls.

Educate a boy, educate an individual. Educate a girl, educate a community.

The cool thing?

You can help. And it’s simple. All you have to do is get out your cell phone.

  • Text to 50555 and enter “CAI” to quickly and easily donate $10 to Mr. Greg.
  • Greg is talking today at the Blackboard World conference and Blackboard will match your donation.
  • 85% of donations are applied directly to CAI programs
  • Don’t want to use the cell phone method? Try Pennies for Peace, a great way for you and your students to get directly involved.

The cooler thing?

The Girl Effect.


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend