lunes, 18 de abril de 2011

Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea 'inaccurate' - CBS

 Afghan school girls - 2011 Greg Mortenson's foundation says it has established more than 170 schools The best-selling book Three Cups of Tea, which follows the author Greg Mortenson's mission to build schools across Central Asia, is filled with inaccuracies, a US news programme says. The CBS 60 Minutes report alleges that his charitable foundation took credit for building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan which do not exist.
The documentary also says Mr Mortenson uses the charitable group as a "private ATM machine".
Mr Mortenson denies the allegations.
In an email he sent out to supporters and news organisations on Sunday before the programme was due to be aired, Mr Mortenson said the documentary based its claims on a single year's tax return to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The report "paints a distorted picture using inaccurate information, innuendo and a microscopic focus on one year's (2009) IRS 990 financial,"
He also posted a statement on the website of the Central Asia Institute, the charitable organisation set up to finance and build schools across the region.
"I stand by the information conveyed in my book and by the value of CAI's [Central Asia Institute] work in empowering local communities to build and operate schools that have educated more than 60,000 students," the statement says.
Claims disputed Three Cups of Tea was released in 2006 and became a best-seller through word of mouth.
The book describes how Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer, got lost while trekking in northern Pakistan, only to be rescued by the residents of a remote village. In the book, he says the kindness of those he encoutered inspired him to build a school.
The 60 Minutes investigation says that porters who accompanied Mr Mortenson dispute his claims of being lost.
The documentary also alleges that a number of the schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan that were said to have been established by the CAI do not exist or were built by other people.
Some principals said they had not received funds from the group for years, the report claims.
The CAI's website says it has established more than 170 schools and helped educate more than 68,000 students.
The programme also questions Mr Mortenson's financial relationship with the charity.
The charity has answered the questions put to it by the programme in a statement posted on its website.