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.
Thank you for all you have contributed towards AIL’s goal of educating the people 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.
As we told you in our previous report, AIL has begun teaching computer and English classes in four of it’s centers in Herat and Kabul Provinces. At one of the Herat centers, 201 students graduated from the English course, and 211 from the computer course. At another of the centers, all of the computer students have chosen to speak only English while in class to help improve their fluency and understanding of the language.
These computer courses are focused on teaching the students the basics of using the Microsoft suite of products. From in-depth instruction on using Windows, to instruction on all of the functions of MS Word and Excel, these classes are helping Afghans learn to use PC to create professional looking documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
AIL would like to share the remarks of one young man who has been attending classes in one of AIL’s centers for a year. Ahmad is a 22 year old who thanked AIL for the school, and said he prays for Dr. Yacoobi, AIL’s Executive Director. He continues, “AIL has changed my live positively. I started studying English and computers in the center last year. Before I attended classes, I didn’t even know how to turn on or off a computer, but now I have learned well. In fact, I’ve learned to use seven programs on the computer. In addition, I’ve learned to speak and write English well. After I graduated form the course, I took an entrance exam for a trading company in my town. I got the job, and my salary is excellent. I support my family, my mother and my father with the money I receive. After seeing what I have done, my cousin is interested in learning computers and English as well. I owe all my successes to AIL.”
Stories like this show what a big impact your contributions can have on the life of an Afghan citizen. The classes that you help support have forever altered the course of this man’s life, and that of his family and AIL would like to thank you for your generosity.
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!
As we reported to you in March, AIL has received a grant to help establish both English and computer classes in our centers. Currently, these courses are being taught in four of AIL’s centers, two in Herat province and two in Kabul. The English courses are broken down into three month long beginner, level one and level two courses and a six month long advanced English course. The computer course lasts six months, and students learn how to use Microsoft Office programs including Word and Excel. When the computer course is finished, the students are able to produce professional looking documents, which will help them advance in their careers.
The courses in Kabul recently held exams for their Advanced English and Computer students. 470 students were tested, and 457 of the students passed the exams. The Kabul office has started their second group of students in the English and Computer courses, and these students will take their examinations in December.
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) continuously expands their programs to reach and educate as many Afghans as they possibly can. Recently, we received a report of the addition of another English and Computer Center in one of the AIL Centers located in a very insecure area. We learned that a local businessman agreed to purchase computers and a solar powered energy source for the center if AIL would agree to provide the teachers for the courses. Of course, AIL jumped at the chance to reach more people and immediately, 58 new students enrolled in the courses. It is so exciting to know that 58 more Afghan citizens will learn the necessary skills to use computers in the workplace.
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.
Since 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has been helping Afghans lift themselves above the devastation of war by providing education, training, health care, and health education. AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs, like building blocks that together form a whole structure. While delivering these basic services AIL has also been able to promote critical thinking skills and model and teach human rights, women’s rights, peace, democracy, and leadership. With new skills and information, Afghans are becoming empowered and hopeful. Through your financial support, you have been a part of these seeds of systemic change.
Through the natural progression that exists when people begin to think for themselves, AIL often receives requests from Afghans who want to find ways to work together to promote love, understanding, and forgiveness to their people in order to return to a peaceful way of life; the way of their country’s history. Supported by Fetzer Institute, AIL is responding to these requests by holding an International Conference on Love and Forgiveness this Spring that will be shared throughout the country and internationally via film. This conference will focus on the study of Afghan poets and musicians, particularly the work of Mawlana (Rumi). Participating in the conference will be poets, writers, Sufis and government representatives from all parts of Afghanistan and the world.
Joining the Conference, in person, or via film or writings, are:
AIL invites you to join Afghans in thought and through your own study of music and poetry that brings us all closer to the peaceful world we endeavor to achieve.
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