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
AIL’s health program is very effective in providing needed health care and health education to underserved people in rural and urban areas of Afghanistan. Your contributions have given quality health care to people with no other options.
The health program is based on a holistic approach providing treatment and education together including: routine care, first aid, nutrition, pharmacy, dental care, reproductive health care as well as preventive care such as vaccinations and education. In 2013, AIL treated over 194,000 people (average of 16,000 per month) at 4 fixed clinics and its mobile clinics and through its CHW program. In the same time period, AIL provided health education to over 118,000 (average of 9,800 per month) through its clinics, CHWs and workshop offerings.
The combination of health care treatment and health education has proved to be highly effective in breaking the cycle of ill health which plagues many families in the region. An example of this is AIL’s nutrition program. AIL has seen a dramatic drop in nutrition cases, especially compared to the national levels. In part this drop is due to the strong nutrition education provided and the proactive intensive nutrition program which treats the malnourished children but also teaches about correct nutrition and how to cook food and in some cases feeds children during the session. The education element is comprehensive covering safe food preparation and the importance of clean water including in formula preparation and food washing.
The 2013 health statistics from AIL show some encouraging developments. There was a 40% increase in clinic births from 2012 up by 115 births. Women are seeing clinic births as a safer option. Vaccinations were up by 14% with 7,000 more and CHW visits also increased by 6,000 or 14%. The number of treatments by CHWs dropped for Acute Respiratory Infections by 15% and Diarrhea by 60%. These two numbers show the impact of health education in giving the people the information to take care of themselves. In the case of diarrhea the importance of clean water for food and formula preparation is always stressed as is the preference for breast feeding for the health of babies. AIL are encouraged by these changes which show the health program is being effective both in the now and in the longer term.
Here is a story from an AIL clinic:
“The patient was called MahJabin a 30 years old with three children. I asked her how many children you have. She answered, “I have three children. The smallest one is my baby boy.” He looked about 6 months old. I asked her again where he was born. She told me, “When I had pains and felt that my child will be born, my family called to the administration of the clinic and asked for an ambulance to carry me to the clinic. My child was born here with much help from the midwife. I could get all the medicines freely from the clinic. Then I and my child were discharged from the clinic. Now I think if the clinic wasn’t here, I was not able to birth my child because I didn’t have any money to pay for the high expenses of other hospitals. I am thankful for all the personnel of the clinic.”
We are most grateful for the support this project has received, especially in the month of December 2013 when over $41,000 was donated. Thank you for your generosity and for your interest in Afghanistan and support for AIL’s health program.
AIL’s multi faceted health program continues in rural and deprived urban areas of Afghanistan where often the AIL clinic or satellite Community Health Worker (CHW) post is the only available medical care for many miles.
AIL health program provides comprehensive health care including treatment such as routine care, first aid and nutrition programs, reproductive health care as well as preventive care including vaccinations and education. So far in 2013, AIL has treated an average of over 16,000 patients per month at 4 fixed clinics, mobile clinics and through its CHW program. In the same time period, AIL has provided health education to over 9,700 per month through its clinics, CHWs and workshop offerings.
The combination of health care treatment and health education has proved to be highly effective in breaking the cycle of ill health which plagues many families in the region. As a patient waits for care, often with other family members they are given health education. The topics covered may not relate to the medical issue they are seeking treatment for but could be about proper nutrition, the value of vaccination, clean water and sanitation issues. People or eager for knowledge as they want to be healthy and care for their children in the best way they can.
A participant in reproductive health workshop said, “My daughter-in-law died in her first child delivery and the reason she died is because of my carelessness because I didn’t allow her delivery at the hospital and in this area there weren’t any midwives. I tried to help her during her delivery. I lost my daughter in law because I didn’t have experience and the blood group of my daughter in law was negative and it caused problems. I wish that I had joined this workshop one year before so I could have helped my daughter in law.”
Thank you for your interest and support for AIL’s health program. We have attached out year end newsletter and we hope you will take a look.
Great News: This project is part of the Safer World Fund Matching Campaign, meaning that all donations to this project will be matched at 50%, up to a maximum of $2,000. We hope that you will help us take advantage of this great opportunity!
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!
AIL continues to provide much needed healthcare and health education to thousands of needy Afghans who have few if any other medical options. Basic medical care at the early stages of a problem makes all the difference and a small amount of health education creates huge change in behavior and health situations. The latter is evidenced by AIL’s innovative Expectant Mother Health Program where women receive information on safe pregnancy and childbirth in an afternoon session. 100% of those pregnant women who attended this workshop went on to choose to have their babies at a clinic in safe circumstances going against the cultural norm of home delivery without help.
During the course of a year, month to month patient numbers can vary due to security, weather or transport issues. In the last few months AIL treated an average of over 10,000 patients per month at its 4 fixed clinics, mobile clinics and through its Community Health Worker (CHWs) program. In the same time period, AIL has given health education to over 16,000 per month through its clinics and CHWs and workshop offerings. AIL provides comprehensive health care including routine care, first aid, nutrition programs, reproductive health care and vaccinations. The nutrition program in the last four months assessed 3,609 children for nutritional status and treated 503 for malnutrition. This is one woman’s story:
My name is BiBi Gul. I have 3 children who are 1, 2 and 3 years old. They were so weak. I was very hopeless and fed up with life. One day my husband said there was a clinic in Shaikhan and to go and visit them; it has very kind and professional doctors. The clinic is so far from us; it is about 2 hours away from my house to the clinic. I came and visited the doctors and midwife and told them about my problem. After visiting they told me that your children are affected by malnutrition. The reason was that I didn’t follow child spacing and my breast feeding was not sufficient for my babies, so they got malnutrition. The doctor referred my children to the nutrition section. My children were under treatment, every week and they have been checked and monitored regularly and received nutritious food and put on weight. After 3 month, two of them were able to walk. Now I am so happy, and, after 3 years child spacing, I now have a new born child who is normal and well nourished. I am thankful from the doctors. Now lots of people visit this clinic from our area.”
Thank you for your interest and support.
Great News: This project has been selected to be part of the Safer World Fund Matching Campaign, meaning that all donations to this project will be matched at 50%, up to a maximum of $2,000. We hope that you will help us take advantage of this great opportunity!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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Founder & CEO