Help Afghan Boys Trade Guns for Books

 
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One of AIL’s primary goals is to raise the level of education across Afghanistan. Improving the rate of literacy is one of the stepping stones to that goal. An educated people is the key to a self-supporting country. Literacy is elemental to education and can be attained at any age. AIL staff are always encouraging people, no matter their age, to attend a literacy class. Boys are encouraged to start learning with literacy or to restart their education if it has been interrupted. Classes are provided but so are reading materials which are needed for literacy skills to grow. AIL supports libraries and library rooms at its Learning Centers so students, including boys have access to books, learn to research questions or problems, and gain confidence in their reading ability.

The Citadel Library in Herat, which AIL supports, continues to attract people with around 170-200 visitors each month.   AIL’s Calligraphy  Class at the Citadel has  23 male students who are learning this ancient Afghan art. AIL continues to add to its own library in its office in Herat and aims to enlarge the subject matter collection so that people have a resource, whatever the topic they are interested in. AIL also seeks donations where possible and recently 300 songbooks (Awsana se Sana) were sent to its Kabul Office along with over 800 teachers guides.

Thank you for your interest in literacy in Afghanistan.

As elsewhere in the world, computing skills are highly desirable to employers. AIL students are aware of this fact and are fascinated by computers. The boys computing class in one village in Kabul Province is always full. This class was set up as an offshoot from the Learning Center (LC established in the village by AIL in 2002.  The village also has an AIL medical clinic. The LC provides literacy, math, English and sewing skills training as well as advanced classes for boys who need remedial work for school. The center then decided to set up a computer class as this was frequently requested. The class teaches Word, Excel and Windows.

These classes change lives as one student said,” For poor people in our country AIL is the seashore at the time of a shipwreck and as a poet said, you should take the hand of a falling person when you stand on your feet. In this situation AIL is a boat for the generation of youth and we will never forget their help.”

Many of AIL’s centers offer computing classes and in September, in Herat Province there were 166 male students studying computing at LCs. There is also a special English and Computing 6 month course offered at a few centers. The latter course is especially popular as it combines two highly regarded skills and makes navigating the internet that much easier.

Thanks for your support. We have included Creating Hope International’s 2014 newsletter which contains information on AIL’s work. We hope you will take a few minutes to read through it.


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AIL is dedicated to seeing all people thrive especially the youth of Afghanistan. Boys are encouraged to study and develop academic skills as well as social skills. In addition, exercise of the body for its own sake is important, as well as the benefits it provides to support mental pursuits.

Here is a story from one AIL center:

“The Youth Council at the center made a cup for football competitions. In the tournament, 4 teams competed and the winning team received the cup and a prize made by the center manager. The matches encouraged all students to do some exercise in the clubs and at homes. AIL’s approach has always been to treat the whole person and physical exercise is especially important for the young.  AIL encourages youth to do exercises because it expands their talents and helps them be more active and alert in daily activities and lessons. For example, one of the students said, “I like football. I am in a football team at the AIL center. I exercise every other day. I like it because it makes me fresh and healthy. I recommend everyone in my family and my friends to exercise”.

Healthy body, healthy mind! Exercise helps boys be ready and able to study and believe in their capacity to succeed.

Boys in a computer class
Boys in a computer class

Starting at Noon EST today you can double your donation to the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)!! GlobalGiving and Microsoft YouthSpark are offering $200,000 in matching funds, but the funds will go fast! The last time they offered a 100% match funds ran out in just 15 minutes.

If you’d like to help AIL, please visit our project page right at Noon EST.

Your donation will help young men like Ahmad. Ahmad has been attending classes at an AIL Learning center for one year and says, “AIL has changed my life in positive ways. I started to study English and computers here one year ago. Before starting classes I didn’t even know how to turn a computer on. Now I’ve learned to use seven different programs on the computer and I’ve learned to speak English. After I graduated from the course I took the employment exam for a trading company in town. I got the job! My salary is excellent and I can help support my family. After seeing what I was able to do, my cousin has decided to take the AIL classes also. I owe all of my successes to AIL.”

We thank you for supporting AIL’s efforts to educate young Afghans, and hope that you will support us again today at noon!!

Stills from the Music Video
Stills from the Music Video

Let’s put our hands together, let’s get together.

Our hands hold our votes and our votes hold our future.

 

My fellow citizen It’s my vote, it’s your vote

It’s a privilege for enduring peace

My dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hands.

             On April 5th, an historic election was held in Afghanistan. Over 7 million voters participated, and the elections were generally a peaceful affair. We at AIL hosted election workshops leading up to the vote, and asked the managers of our Learning Centers to educate students at the centers about why the vote was important, what steps they needed to take in order to vote, how to research and select candidates, and how to vote.

            The effort to encourage Afghans to vote was not limited to our workshops and Learning Centers however. At a private school owned by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (our CEO) the Arts and Culture Teacher, Mehrjui, set a poem she had written about the election to music. The song encourages all Afghans to become aware of their responsibilities, to select a good candidate for President and to vote. The PSYPS Arts and Culture students sang this song at a celebration on International Women’s Day as well as at our election workshops. The song was incredibly well received, moving many in the audience.

            The students, staff, and administration at the school quickly realized how powerful their song was, so with the help of the AIL Academic Advisor and the AIL video production team, they set about recording their song so that it could be shared with a wider audience. They had no idea how popular the song was about to become.

            The song quickly went viral, being aired on Afghanistan’s National TV station, as well as on eleven other stations. The song has been played many times over and candidates running for president even asked if they could buy the song to use in their campaign. The PSYPS students and staff declined to sell the song, deciding the purpose of the song was to encourage all Afghans to participate in the elections, not to support just one candidate.

             As Afghanistan moves closer to a runoff election this summer, the song continues to be played on the radio and the video over the airwaves. In short, the song continues to encourage Afghans to participate in the upcoming elections and to make sure their voices are heard.

             We encourage you to take a moment to view the video made by the students, to read the lyrics below and to see the hope in these young people’s faces. After watching, we hope that you will stand with the youth of Afghanistan, and join us as we work with them to create a peaceful future for their nation. 

(Chorus Song)

Let’s put our hands together, let’s get together.

Our hands hold our votes and our votes hold our future.

 

With one vote, we can be our sultan, our voice

For a better choice for a better leader

 

My fellow citizen It’s my vote, it’s your vote

It’s a privilege for enduring peace

My dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hand

 

My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!

With the name of God, we speak from the power of our thoughts

From our decision, unity, humanity and right

No longer speak of suicide bombing, explosion, but of creativity and pride

Don’t speak of the hills under the thorn

Speak of the friendship of verdant soil and the rose garden

Speak of spring, spring and spring

 

(Narration)

Let’s hope that this spring Afghanistan will turn into a magnificent garden. A garden in which the smell of every rose invites the world for a spectacle.

Let’s hope for a different spring, for a different year and for a different Afghanistan

Don’t forget my fellow citizen, our rendezvous is in front of ballot boxes on April 5, 2014

 

(Chorus Song)

Our choice is the remedy

Our choice is for the day of rendezvous

Who we want will be crowned sultan

 

My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!

 

Attend the opportunity with passion and turn the enemies into wretches

This colored finger is the guiding path and this fist is the hummer for the oppressor

 

My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!

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Project Leader

Sakena Yacoobi

Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Afghan Boys Trade Guns for Books