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Stones Into Schools

American mountaineer Greg Mortenson talks about the links between human rights and education, and why he has focused his work on educating girls in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan. He describes how his attempt to climb K2, the world’s second highest mountain, led him to a small village in Pakistan, where he witnessed children sitting on the ground as they received school lessons. Mortenson explains why he decided to return one day and build a proper school for the children, the first step in founding the Central Asia Institute, an organization that builds schools and promotes education for girls in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan. Reflecting upon his travels, he contends that the only way to truly understand poverty is to experience it. Only then can one properly identify its root causes and develop successful strategies to alleviate poverty. Mortenson is convinced that educating women is essential to changing societies and fighting poverty.

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