In recent weeks I have been asked to comment on questions and controversies surrounding Greg Mortenson (author of Three Cups of Tea) and the Central Asia Institute (CAI). I am asked these questions because CAI and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation both finance the construction of structures in Afghanistan and each work with students and teachers to achieve humanitarian goals. However, because the similarities between our two organizations end there, I can speak only to my own foundation's work and standards of practice.
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation (TKHF) is a private charity that abides by the highest standards for good governance and ethical practice.
Simply put, what that means is that we comply with all federal, state, local and international regulations and laws, publish detailed information about our operations and finances, donate all proceeds from our fundraising efforts to direct humanitarian aid in a timely manner, conduct extensive due diligence prior to making any grants, and have erected a secure "firewall" between the foundation and my business interests so that I can accrue no personal gain from the foundation's generous supporters. Specifically, that means there is no advertising of my books paid for by the foundation, royalties from books sold at foundation events are donated to the foundation, and my lecture fees (net reasonable travel expenses) are also donated to the foundation.
With regards to our SOS Program and the construction of life-saving shelters, our on-the-ground partner in Afghanistan is The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), one of the world's most respected humanitarian aid organizations. This partnership enables us to ensure that all funds donated to SOS are put to work promptly and efficiently, and that the results of that work are accounted for by UNHCR.
My wife and I created The Khaled Hosseini Foundation because we are passionately committed to doing all we can to end the suffering of Afghan children and families who live without shelter, medical care and educational opportunities. Our ability to accomplish the goals we have set forth for the foundation require us to be worthy of your trust. It is our privilege to earn that trust on a daily basis.
With that in mind, let's go do some great work together!