The educational opportunities available to older women in Afghanistan are almost non-existent. The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) is where Afghan women older than the customary school age turn to gain the skills and education necessary to help improve their lives.
We’d like to share a recent success story from a Women’s Learning Center (WLC) near Herat, Afghanistan with you. The following is what a 50 year old student, with two school age sons shared with our AIL Herat staff during one of their visits to the WLC she attends.
“I am very happy to sit in this class and learn how to read and write.” As she showed her work to the supervisors, she was very happy and laughing. She continued, “My son, a university student encouraged me to come to this center. During the three months since I have began here, I have learned more than my younger son who is in the 6th grade in a regular school. My young son came to me one day and asked for my help with his school work. I began to laugh, and joked with him ‘Shame on you. I have learned more in three months than you have learned in school!’ He replied, ‘Mom! You know there are no good teachers in the regular schools and we just waste our time there. It is not my fault, but a problem with the system.’
The women then smiled and said, “I have promised my son attending the university that I will compete with him. I am sure I can reach a higher class.”
AIL is making a difference in the lives of Afghan women and children by giving them access to education, and ultimately, hope for a better future.
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