Afghan Institute of Learning

AIL's mission is to empower all Afghans who are needy and oppressed, especially women and children, so that they can support and take care of themselves. AIL, an organization founded and run by Afghan women, expands access to quality education and healthcare and encourages community participation in all programs. AIL's goal is to lay a foundation for quality education and health systems in Afghanistan that will meet the needs of women and children today and for generations to come.
Aug 26, 2014

Peace Workshops Making an Impact

Young Women in a Peace Workshop
Young Women in a Peace Workshop

Thank you so much for supporting our project to educate Afghans about human rights, ways to incorporate peace in to their lives, and how to help make their their communities to more peaceful places. During 2014, our staff made a particular push to educate Afghans about the elections, which took place in February and April. These election workshops focused on teaching people not only how to vote, but also why it was so important and how the elections would directly impact their lives. Thanks to these workshops as well as other outreach efforts, AIL has been credited with getting thousands to vote.

In June, we held what we have termed “Ideation Symposiums” for 260 Afghans. These Symposiums were a chance for large groups of Afghans to come together and discuss the problems facing Afghanistan, and then to discuss peaceful solutions to these problems. Participants came from all walks of life, and many remarked that they had never attended a workshop like this one. Many participants said that they would be sharing what they learned with as many people as possible, including the principal of a local high school who said that she would be developing lessons for her students based on the workshops. Crews from several Afghan television networks attended the conference, and a recording of the conference was broadcast on several times on Afghan television networks.

Our staff has been overwhelmed by the positive responses from these workshops, and is now planning to hold similar workshops in the fall. We thank you for all of the support you have shown to our project. We have found the funding that we need to completely fund these workshops, and have decided to close this project. If you would like to continue supporting AIL, we ask you to please give to our project Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Women.

Aug 26, 2014

From Illiterate to Fourth Grade in 4 Months!

Mobile Literacy Students, Young and Old
Mobile Literacy Students, Young and Old

The Afghan Institute of Learning’s Mobile Literacy program has held 14 mobile literacy classes in 2014 for a total of 430 women and girls and 80% of the students are able to read at a 4th grade level when they complete the four month long course! This number is even more remarkable when you consider that 75% of the students could not read at all when the course began.

Asma was illiterate before beginning our mobile literacy class. She never thought she would be able to read. Now that the class has completed she knows how to read and operate a cell phone. She made so many friends during the class, and without being able to operate a cell phone, her options for staying in touch with her new friends were limited. Because the class combined texting with traditional classroom instruction, she can text and call her new friends and continue the new friendships. Additionally, she developed a good relationship with her teacher, and thanks to her teacher’s encouragement is considering continuing her studies. 

While the Taliban was in power, girls were not allowed to attend school. After the Taliban fell, girls were once again allowed to attend school, but many were too far behind. There was an understandable delay in opening government run schools, so many girls fell even further behind. One final barrier they face is that students can only enter the grade that corresponds with their age. A girl name Zohra participated in one of our mobile literacy classes, and has been able to get to a high enough reading level that she decided to taken an entrance exam for her to enter the proper grade at a local government school! We are so happy for Zohra, and wish her the best on her exam.

Thank you again for supporting our innovative program combining text messaging with traditional literacy education. As the situation in Afghanistan continues to change, your support becomes more important than ever in helping AIL to educate the women and girls of Afghanistan. We thank you for being part of our team!

Aug 26, 2014

Small Businesses Are Being Started!

Women in an AIL Sewing Course
Women in an AIL Sewing Course

The Afghan Institute of Learning’s sewing and tailoring classes offer Afghan women a chance to learn a valuable skill and open small businesses which help to support their families. The courses teach women the basics of sewing, as well as pattern making, tailoring, and how to operate their own sewing and tailoring businesses. Many women begin to sell clothing before they graduate from the course, allowing them to earn enough money to purchase their own sewing machine.

Recently we’ve been hearing stories of groups of women who work together to start larger businesses. From Herat Province, we recently learned of three graduated students who started worked together to start a business. Working together allows the women to each work part time, rather than full time, leaving them able to care for their families. They began by taking custom orders from people in their area, and recently have opened a store. After putting a very nice billboard on their store, they began getting a large number of customers in a short time. One woman, named Fariba, said “I never imagined having my own business before I came to AIL. My life has been changed completely here. I am so excited to have my own business, and I am planning to become a teacher at this center so that I can teach other women to sew. 

For most Afghans, the only way to purchase clothing is by having someone sew it for you. Because of this cultural norm, teaching these women to sew will give them an income that will be sustainable for the foreseeable future.  Thank you for believing in and supporting our project!

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