Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea is a truly inspiring story of one man’s mission to build schools in the most dangerous areas of Pakistan & Afghanistan to “Promote peace one school at a time”.

Greg Mortenson (co-authored by David Relin) begins with his story of failure where stumbling, lost and delirious, he found himself in a remote Himalayan village in Pakistan after a failed climb up to K2. Greg Mortensen’s life, that day, was saved by the villagers of Korphe. Moved by the villagers’ generosity, he wanted to do something in return. Then he saw the village children writing with sticks on sand, out in the elements, for they had no school building or paper. He vowed to return and build them a school. That promise was the start of a 15-year journey where Greg established over 78 schools in rural and often volatile areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to more than 28,000 children, including 18,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before. He has endured death threats, a kidnapping, and more to dedicate his life to building literacy and peace, one child at a time.

Mortenson shows what an ordinary person can do to change our idea about attaining peace – peace is achieved through education and friendship, not through violence and war. The Pentagon, too, understands his philosophy. His international bestseller is now required reading for military intelligence training. But his success did not come easily. When he started his project, he was threatened by both the Taliban and Americans. The Taliban was angry about the education of girls. And Americans were angry about the education of the “enemies.” Yet, despite the risks, Moretenson and his family persevered.

Greg Mortenson’s story is a beginning of what should be a war against poverty and illiteracy. His is a story worth re-creating over and over again in all parts of the world where children still don’t read and write. I highly recommend reading his story and learning more about his work at the Central Asia Institute (


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