Greg Mortenson

Medico − Stati Uniti

Greg Mortenson (born 1957) is a mountain climber, former U.S. Army medic, and humanitarian from Bozeman, Montana. From 1958 to 1973, Mortenson grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, where his father Dempsey Mortenson was the founder and development director of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. [1]. His mother, Dr. Jerene Mortenson, founded the International School Moshi. [2].

He served in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1975 to 1977, and received the Army Commendation medal. Mortenson attended Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota and graduated from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, S.D. in 1983.

In July 1992, Mortenson's young sister, Christa Mortenson, died from a life-long struggle with severe epilepsy, on the morning she had planned to visit the cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie Field Of Dreams was filmed.

In 1993, to honor his deceased sister's memory, Mortenson went to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain, in the Karakoram range of northern Pakistan. While descending K2, Mortenson became weak and exhausted. Two local Balti porters took Mortenson to their homes in Korphe village to help him recover.

To pay the remote community back for their compassion, Mortenson said he would build a school for the village. After a frustrating time trying to raise money, Jean Hoerni, a Silicon Valley pioneer, founded the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit organization to promote education and literacy, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hoerni named Mortenson as the first Executive Director.

In the process of building schools, Mortenson has survived an eight day armed 1996 kidnapping in the tribal areas of Waziristan in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, escaped a 2003 firefight between Afghan opium warlords, endured a fatwah by an angry Islamic cleric for educating girls, and received hate mail and threats from fellow Americans for helping educate Muslim children.

Mortenson believes that education and literacy for girls globally is the most important investment all countries can make to create stability, bring socio-economic reform, decrease infant mortality, decrease the population explosion, and improve health, hygiene and sanitation standards globally.

"You can hand out condoms, build roads, put in electricity, but until girls and women are empowered through education, a society will not change", he says.

Central Asia Institute's achievements include:

55 schools, mostly for girls, in Pakistan and Afghanistan
547 fully or partially supported teachers
Education for over 24,000 students, including 14,000 girls.
Temporary education for victims of Pakistan's October 2005 7.8 Richter scale earthquake, that killed 74,000 people, including 18,000 students and displaced 2.8 million refugees.
Mortenson and Portland, Oregon writer David Oliver Relin are co-authors of the New York Times best seller book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations . . . One School at a Time [3], published by VIKING in 2006.

Mortenson has two sisters, Sonja Rauen, and Kari Theisen, and is married to Dr. Tara Bishop, a clinical psychologist. Tara Bishop is the daughter of the late Dr. Barry Chapman Bishop, (1932-1994), a geographer and glaciologist. Dr. Bishop was a National Geographic Society editor, photographer of the historic 1963 American Mt. Everest expedition, and chairman of the NGS Research & Exploration Committee.

Annotazioni − Fonte: Wikipedia.com
 
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