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CAI’s Response to the Montana Attorney General’s Investigations

LINKS TO IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

CAI’s Press Release
CAI’s Board of Directors’ Statement
CAI’s Executive Director’s Message
Agreement and Assurance of Voluntary Compliance between the AG and CAI
Montana Attorney General’s Office Report

Message from Anne Beyersdorfer, CAI executive director | April 5, 2012

We are pleased that the Montana Attorney General’s Office (OAG), Central Asia Institute (CAI), and Greg Mortenson have signed an agreement resolving the OAG’s inquiries. While we respectfully disagree with some of the analysis and conclusions in the OAG’s report, we look forward to moving ahead as an even stronger organization, focusing on CAI’s vital mission. Most importantly, we are pleased the OAG’s report reinforced that CAI’s mission is noble and valuable and its achievements are important.

CAI has always been a small group of dynamic, mission-centric individuals doing extraordinary work. Mistakes were made during a rapid period of growth, and we have corrected or are in the process of correcting them. CAI continues to strengthen its governance, management, and accounting, including enforcing our policies and acting on any findings of the annual audits of our financial records.

During the OAG’s 11-month inquiry, we continued our overseas work and educational outreach, including our Pennies for Peace (P4P) program, designed to empower children to create global awareness about peace through education. Highlights of all our programs are published on our website, CAI’s Communiqué, and our e-newsletter, Alima.

Specifically, in 2011 we worked with villages in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan to initiate 57 new school and community projects while providing ongoing support to our existing projects in the remote, mountainous, and often war-wracked areas we serve. All of our projects are listed on our Master Project List, which is frequently updated.

We are extremely grateful to our loyal supporters who provide the support to fulfill our mission, and to the communities, which typically match CAI funds with free land or subsidized or volunteer manual labor. Many of these schools are the first or only schools in their communities. Instruction of the children is based on Pakistan and Afghanistan’s standard education requirements and subject to their peer review and certification.

In recent weeks some CAI overseas personnel have also been working hard to deliver winter disaster aid to isolated villages in Badakhshan Province in NE Afghanistan. Please see detailed reports at CAI’s Communiqué. In addition, CAI cofounder Greg Mortenson and Communications Director Karin Ronnow and I recently returned from Pakistan, where we spent several weeks working with program managers to confirm plans for schools and community projects in the upcoming year. As always, we have dedicated, resourceful men and women working in the field to make this happen.
CAI has worked with communities in remote regions for more than 15 years to build, supply, staff, and maintain over 180 schools and 30 vocational centers, and support an additional 56 schools, 20 literacy centers, eight scholarship programs, and 22 public health (potable water, midwifery, and disaster-relief) projects.

No other NGO does what we do in these locales with such a small team of dedicated individuals.

News fatigue about Pakistan and Afghanistan is evident everywhere we look these days. But the children and their parents, village elders, and teachers with whom we work cannot look away; this is about their futures. Greg and our overseas managers have dedicated their lives to helping fulfill countless dreams and aspirations and we are honored to continue our life-changing work together.

CAI is an educational organization; we learn and grow stronger from any adversity we face. This past year brought unprecedented challenges for all of us at CAI, our extended families and communities. Yet challenges yield opportunities, and we are extremely grateful for the ongoing opportunities provided by our steadfast supporters, as well as their constant compassion and care.

As Greg often says, “Onward”!

Shukria, Tashakor, Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Anne Beyersdorfer
Executive Director

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MASTER LIST: CAI performed a verification of overseas projects by way of survey teams composed of US-based and overseas managers. Based on those assessments and evaluations, we prepare and post our Master Project List on our website. The list is a “living document,” in that it is constantly amended with the most current information available about each CAI project. We are currently developing an accompanying interactive mapping feature that will be an educational resource about our projects.

BLOG: The CAI Communiqué includes stories about projects, communities and our overseas project managers, as well as news from the areas we serve.

FY 2009 & 2010 AUDITS & ANNUAL REPORT: We take very seriously our obligation to ensure that donor funds are spent wisely. Tracking the money is part of our job. Last year for the first time, in conjunction with our FYE 2009 & FYE 2010 independent audit, CAI issued a September 30, 2010 and 2009 Annual Report, focused primarily on financial information (stories about the projects have been published in the “Journey of Hope” each fall since 2007; and current news is now posted on our blog as it happens).

FY 2011 AUDIT: CAI is undergoing an audit of fiscal year 2010, which ended Sept. 30, 2011. Once the audit is complete, a new annual report will be posted on our website.

ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION: CAI’s annual IRS 990s since inception are available on the financial page of our website, and are available upon request info@ikat.org.

EXPANDED BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Extraordinarily qualified and interested people are ready to serve CAI’s mission, and the process to expand CAI’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisors is under way. Click here for the names of CAI’s current board members.

GREG MORTENSON’S ROLE: As announced in December 2011, Greg remains on staff as co-founder. His role will be focused on delivering educational opportunities, especially for girls, in the communities we serve, and continuing to educate the public about peace through education.

PENNIES FOR PEACE: Students, schools and community groups are active, and every penny collected has gone, and will continue to go, to schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. For more information visit www.penniesforpeace.org.

CAI’S ORGANIZATIONAL EVOLUTION: Additional details about CAI’s history are available online at www.ikat.org.

JOURNEY OF HOPE: Every year CAI publishes a detailed publication that summarizes our work, the challenges and problems we face, and the results of what we do as reflected by the people we serve. Electronic copies of the Journey of Hope are available on our website and hard copies are available upon request, info@ikat.org.

ARCHIVED NEWS HEADLINES: Information and statements of interest that Central Asia Institute’s Board of Directors and Greg Mortenson have provided are listed under our Archived News Headlines to answer any questions, concerns, and inquiries related to events that affected our organization through the media.

For further questions, concerns and inquires, please email media@ikat.org.