The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and Creating Hope International (CHI) would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons. As you celebrate with those you love, please take a moment to look at CHI’s yearly newsletter, which we’ve attached to this report. As you will see, 2012 has been a transformative year for AIL and CHI. After years of working tirelessly to provide education, training and healthcare to Afghans, we are beginning to see a real change. The minds of those AIL works with are being opened to the possibility of a peaceful Afghan society.
AIL is in the process of finalizing a 5 year funding plan, which will be put into place beginning in 2013. We are looking forward to sharing the details of this plan with you soon, and hope that you will find it in your heart to give generously to help us reach our goal. The people of Afghanistan are making great strides, but our work is not done yet. Instead of backing down, we need to push ahead and continue to give Afghans the tools they need to create a more peaceful country. We are hoping that we can count on you to help continue our work.
The women are beginning to see that through education they can have a better life, and are insisting on educating their children. They are taking charge of their health, and we are seeing more and more women requesting workshops on pre-natal issues as well as reproductive health. AIL is encouraged to see so many Afghan women looking forward to a brighter future and is planning to be there to help the women lead the way to the Afghanistan of their dreams.
Finally, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that donations up to $2,000 are being matched at 50% by the Safer World Matching Fund, while funds last. Take this opportunity to make your donation go further this holiday season.
Thank you for all you have contributed towards AIL’s goal of educating the women and children of Afghanistan. While the conditions in Afghanistan are still challenging, AIL is seeing positive changes in the lives of those Afghans that it works with.
Recently the Executive Director of AIL, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi was interviewed and had the following to say about education as a path to peace:
“ I really believe it strongly that education is the key issue, that it will bring peace to Afghanistan, because when people are ignorance, they are fighting, they want to really fight with weapon, and for 30 years we didn't accomplish anything. And day-by-day violence is getting worse and worse. Society ideally believes that we are all human and we are equal, and you look to others as equal and really try to watch for humans rights, women's rights... the right of every individual to have the dignity, to have respect, and when we abuse and don't look for gender equality we discourage people from their right, we discourage people from their value and their ethics, they feel low. And that is not the way to you look to for other human being. Again you go back again to education. The more education people have, the better they could understand that they don't do something to others that they don't want to be done to them.” “ It’s a right of every child to be educated and from the time of Taliban, many, many children have not been in a school and today we have girls that like 15, 20 years old, they don't know how to read and write, even boys, the same thing. So what we are trying to do, we are trying to constantly work in education because if we accomplish education, that all over Afghanistan education is spread, then I think that our problem and war problem will be solved also because then people have a better understanding about equality, about justice, about right, and they are not going to abuse that.” Through August 2012, AIL has taught 7,209 women in it’s Centers and Schools in Kabul and Herat Afghanistan, and Peshawar, Pakistan. For many of these women and girls, AIL’s classes are the only chance at obtaining an education. Don’t forget! The holidays are a great time to share your passion for AIL and the great work that they do! GlobalGiving offers gift certificates which can be used to donate to AIL’s projects. Also, beginning December 1st, the initial donation made by recurring donors will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. There is only $25,000 available in matching funds, so help AIL take advantage of this opportunity early!
We would like to share with you the story of Farzana, a 28-year-old mother of four studying sewing and literacy in one of our centers. Farzana says, “Three months ago, I was having some family problems and I came to the AIL center for help. The manager and one of the teachers helped to mediate a solution between my husband and I. Now I am a student in sewing and literacy, and I find my lessons very interesting. Also, my daughters have begun to take classes in literacy. At first, I was shy since so many of my classmates were younger than I am. Now, I am confident around them and am so interested in my lessons. I can read and write easy words, and I have learned to sew well. My sewing teacher is very encouraging, telling me that the samples I have sewn are very good, and that I will be a good tailor in the future. My life changed a great deal when I began coming to the AIL center in my village. I now have learned many different things and feel that I will have a good life.”
This project has been so very successful thanks to all of you! Since this project was initiated in 2005, and because the project is on-going, periodically, we have had to periodically adjust our budget and, as you have likely noticed, have done so again. The Afghan Institute of Learning receives many grants toward its Fast-Tracking Educational Programs. Overall, each year, AIL now spends approximately $400,000.00 on these programs alone. The portion that we seek through Global Giving is an amount equal to our expected shortfall for each calendar year. We expect that amount to be approximately $50,000.00 over the next 12 months and for that reason, have again raised the amount we are requesting from donors to our project. We invite you to look at our overall budget for this program since 2005 and our budget for the next 12 months.
We recently received a sampling study from the AIL Office in Herat, which shows how well the Learning Center fast-tracking model is working. 26 literacy students from second through sixth levels at the Darb-e-Iraq Learning Center were given a test at the local public schools to evaluate what grade they would be placed in at the public school. Each and every student tested out higher than the current grade they were studying in.
This program is working!!!
Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving. Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.
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Founder & Executive Director