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

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!

Aug 26, 2014

Nearly 10,000 Women Educated in 2014!

Women in an AIL Computer Class
Women in an AIL Computer Class

Thank you so much for your support of the Afghan Institute of Learning’s (AIL) efforts to provide a fast-tracked education to Afghan women and girls. In the first 6 month of 2014, your support helped AIL provide education to 9,456 women and girls in our Learning Centers and schools! Classes taught include Arabic, English, literacy, sewing, math, computers, physics, chemistry, carpet weaving, cosmetology, embroidery, and painting. AIL also offers pre-school classes to young children to prepare them for school. 

Every day your support is allowing AIL to make a huge impact on the lives of the women and girls who come to our learning centers. Every student is unique, and skills that students have before starting classes vary greatly, as do the goals of each woman. Some come to the center to learn to read, write or sew. We also see students from the local schools coming to take classes to learn about things that are not taught at their schools. AIL’s fast track classes are able to take all of these varied students and give each the individualized instruction that they need.

Recently classes of computer students were promoted to the next level in their studies. At the promotion ceremony, a young woman named Sima was thrilled to share that because of her computer skills, a construction company had hired her! Her husband is a day laborer, and is not able to earn enough to support his family. Now, thanks to the AIL computer class, she is able to work and earn an income. Sima realizes that she might face challenges being a woman working outside of the home, but feels that she is ready to face them. She said, “I know that I might face problems because I am a woman, and there are some who feel that a woman shouldn’t work outside the home, but I want to work and will ignore whatever is said about me. I thank AIL for giving me this chance to change my life.”

Another wonderful success story came from Farima, a woman who decided that she no longer wanted to be illiterate. She came to AIL’s literacy classes, and after 6 months was able to read and write. Soon, a relative hired her to work in their supermarket. She is so pleased to be able to help support her family. Farima says “AIL has changed my life. Before attending the AIL literacy class, I stayed home every day and wasted my time. I lost so many chances in my life because I was not educated, but now because I learned to read and write I have a job. Now, I can read, write and communicate with all sorts of people.”

 

Your support allows AIL to offer an education to Afghan women and girls just like Sima and Farima. Thank you so much!

Aug 26, 2014

Nearly 600 Teachers Trained in 2014!

Teachers in a Workshop
Teachers in a Workshop

Thank you so much for your support of the Afghan Institute of Learning’s (AIL) Teacher Training program! As the situation in Afghanistan changes, it becomes more important than ever for AIL to train teachers to teach students to think critically, rather than rely on rote memorization in the classrooms. In addition, AIL also invites teachers to workshops on topics such as leadership, health, and democracy, knowing that the teachers will carry these lessons back to their classrooms to share with their students. 

Two workshops were recently held for 76 teachers in a part of Herat Province facing significant bouts of insecurity. The schools were adamant that they want their teachers to be among the best, and AIL decided that they would go and work with the teachers. Our staff reported that the teachers were so thankful to AIL for coming out to their village and working with them.

One of the new teachers shared a sentiment that is familiar to any new teacher. The young woman said, “I just graduated and I am excited to teach, but I keep thinking that it is going to be so difficult to teach a classroom full of students. I know my subject well, but what is the best way to teach it? I began to worry that I wasn’t going to be able to run my class efficiently because I’ve never taught before. This seminar has taught me so many new techniques and now I feel confident to step in to my classroom. During the seminar I had the chance to teach a sample lesson and then be evaluated by the trainers and participants. This was the most beneficial part of the seminar, and really helped me to understand how to use the new teaching methods that I learned. Now I am confident that I will be a good teacher for my students.” 

Another teacher named Zia participated in the seminar. Every day during Zia’s classes, her students were loud and clearly uninterested in the subjects she was teaching. She didn’t know what was causing the students to behave so poorly and was frustrated. During the seminar taught by AIL, Zia learned new teaching techniques and soon realized that her students were acting out of boredom. As soon as the seminar was over, she began using the new techniques she learned in her classroom and saw an immediate change. Now, her students are showing a great deal of interest in the lessons, and the student’s marks are improving. We are so happy to hear that things in Zia’s classroom have improved so dramatically! 

As Afghanistan continues to move forward, more and more children and adults are seeing out education, but the country simply does not have enough qualified teachers to educated everyone yet. Your support is helping to change this. To date your support has helped AIL to offer trainings and workshops to 597 teachers, 356 of whom were women. Thank you for seeing the value in educating the teachers of Afghanistan and for supporting our project!

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