Applause was commonplace Wednesday evening in the Lied Center while author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson spoke.
His story about promoting peace through education in the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan evoked emotion from a number of the hundreds in attendance. Kathi Firns-Hubert admitted to shedding a few tears.
“I started to a few times,” she said. “It’s just so powerful and so amazing.”
Mortenson’s story began with a failed attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan. From there he found himself in a remote village, where he promised to build a school for children.
Years later, Mortenson is the co-founder of Central Asia Institute and the author of a New York Times best selling book, “Three Cups of Tea,” as well as “Stones into Schools,” which address his experiences bringing schools to the area.
“We have an innate desire to help people,” said Mortenson, who’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize multiple times. “If we want to help people, we have to empower them, and empowering starts with education.”
Megan Watson, a co-coordinator of the event that kicked off Into the Streets Week at Kansas University with the Center for Community Outreach, was pleased the lengthy process ended successfully.
“It’s been completely worth it, seeing where we are tonight,” she said.