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.
With one vote, we can be our sultan, our voice
For a better choice for a better leader
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
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
Our choice is the remedy
Our choice is for the day of rendezvous
Who we want will be crowned sultan
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
Hi everyone! AIL is off to a great start this year, with thousands of new students enrolling in our centers and dozens of workshops and seminars teaching Afghans how to live healthy lives. However, there are many Afghans who are barely surviving. AIL’s food distribution program, thanks to you, has helped to feed and clothe the poorest of Afghans during the harsh winter months.
Your donations have allowed AIL to distribute food packages to 200 Afghan families for nearly 1200 people in the month of February alone. These packages include cans of tomato paste, cooking oil, 10 pounds of rice, and 3 pounds of beans. This is enough food to help needy families supplement their diets for nearly a month.
All of us at CHI and AIL are very thankful for your continued support of our “Save Poor Afghan Families from Starving” program, and the beneficiaries of this food aid are most grateful. Over a thousand women, men and children will not go hungry tonight thanks to your dedication to our cause. Thank you!!
More Afghan families have food!! We are happy to report that in the month of September AIL distributed food to 400 families, over 1,800 people! The food packages we give to needy Afghans have enough essentials to last a family of four for a month.
The winter months are here and many Afghans are in need of fuel for heating their homes. Thanks to your support, we have made plans for the next few months to give food and winter fuel to 400 more families in need.
We thank you all for your generous support! Please take some time to check out our annual newsletter attached to this report.
Dear GlobalGiving Donors,
Thank you so much for supporting the Afghan Institute of Learning’s (AIL) various projects on GlobalGiving. Over the years, the Global Giving donors have become invaluable to AIL. Through your generous support, AIL has been able to provide Afghans with education, health care, training and more.
It is your continued support that is now allowing AIL to evolve along with the young people of Afghanistan. We’d like to share with you the story of how one young woman’s life has been changed thanks to one of AIL’s programs:
I am a 19-year-old woman with two children. I had always wanted to go to school and learn to read, but there was not a school close to my home. It was not safe for me to try and travel to another village to go to school, but I always told myself that if I could go to school, I would be able to get a job and reach my goals.
It was painful to me when my brother learned to read and write, but I couldn’t. One day I watched some women and children who were going somewhere. When I saw that one of them was a woman who had an 8-year-old girl with her, I stopped her and said “Excuse me. Where are you going?” She answered, “A learning center has been established for illiterate women and their children recently. I am going to register myself and my children.”
When I heard this, I was so happy and I said to her, “Please wait a minute. I want to go with you and start to take classes too.” I joined them on their way to the learning center. When we arrived, I was so excited because I saw a lot of women there who had been learning.
Now, I can read and write and I can say proudly that I am literate. I have also learned to be healthy and to be a leader. I am reaching out and touching my wishes and goals. I thank AIL for this opportunity to reach my goals.
Thank you for the support that you give to AIL. We are so grateful to all of our supporters for their continued support of our projects on GlobalGiving. Thank you!
All of us at the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and Creating Hope International (CHI) would like to thank our donors for their support of our “Save Poor Afghan Families from Starving” project. Our food distribution program is helping more and more families get necessary food to prevent malnutrition, particularly in young children. In August, we provided food to 17 families and more than 100 individuals.. In September, we will be distributing food to many more families and you can read about it in our next report. The food we distribute provides necessary staples for traditional Afghan meals, including rice, beans, and oil.
The recipients of this food aid, the hungry and impoverished of Afghanistan, are very grateful for your care of their well-being. Because of your donations, dozens of families will have enough to eat and the children of these families will be able to go to school with a hungry mind, not a hungry belly. Providing food for poor Afghans is just one part of our program. In addition to providing monthly provisions to prevent starvation or exposure, we are taking many steps to provide the breadwinners of the family with training through our learning centers in marketable skills so that they may be able to earn a living and become self-sustaining. These training programs include courses in tailoring, literacy, and carpet weaving; all are skills that can provide an income for a family. In addition to providing training programs, AIL supported clinics also provide medical care to malnourished children so that their condition does not seriously affect their development into adults. Again, we want to thank you all for your donations. AIL and the people of Afghanistan are thankful for your continued support!
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