The charity's tax forms list the locations of its schools and how many students it serves. In the 2009 fiscal year, it reported 54 schools in Afghanistan serving 28,475 students, of which 21,165 were girls.
"60 Minutes" said it went to almost 30 of the schools and that roughly half were empty, built by someone else or not receiving any support.
Jeff McMillan, Mr. Mortenson's personal assistant, said that in some cases, the charity had paid for the building of the schools, while in others, it underwrites things like teachers' salaries and supplies.
He also said that the Afghan school year began on March 23. "I don't know when CBS was there, but if it was when school was out, the schools would appear to be empty," he said.
Three Cups of Tea in trouble...?
We read Three Cups of Tea in the Reading West Africa study abroad program. The charges that parts of the memoir are over-dramatized doesn't surprise me, but if the schools indeed are empty and unused that is a really serious charge. CBS News better have done a careful job investigating.