From January through August of this year, the Afghan Institute of Learning has held 10 separate, five day Seminars on Reproductive Health. The total number of women who have attended these seminars is 333. The participants vary. Some are housewives, students, teachers, and government workers. Many of the participants are illiterate and the program is adapted to be very easy to understand using pictures, oral instruction and by having the attendees actively participate with question and answer and hands-on activities.
The women are informed of all aspects of pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, child spacing and how to keep themselves healthy before, during and after a pregnancy. Parisa, one of the participants said, “This workshop can prevent the mortality of women and their children. Women receive enough information about all of the issues of delivery and reproductive health and we can carry this information to others, especially our families. Now I can provide reasons to others why it is better to deliver in a clinic or hospital instead of at home.”
Another AIL Project, “Transform Lives of 70,000 Afghan Adolescent Girls” has been chosen to be part of the Girl Effect Challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 15, 2011. Approximately 60 projects have been included in this challenge. The top six projects with the highest number of unique donations will become part of the Girl Effect Fund for one year and each is expected to earn an additional $25,000. Please check out our project #8791, and thank you for your generous support of our programs!
A recent report by “Save the Children” listed Afghanistan as the worst place to be a woman. One reason for this was the very high mortality rate. According to that report, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 11, and the life expectancy of a female in Afghanistan is 45.
AIL continues to reach more people, especially women, through their health education programs. Subjects taught include women’s health, violence against women, reproductive health, first aid, self-immolation, family planning, vaccinations, nutrition and other topics requested by participants.
Additionally, AIL began a pilot program for Expectant Mothers in November, 2010. We are beginning to see the results of this program, and they are very positive. Since the Expectant Mother program workshops started in November 2010:
A doctor in one of AIL’s rural clinics shared the following story:
“One day a woman came into our clinic with her baby. She said the baby was very weak and had some breathing problems. After weighing and measuring the baby, it was clear that the baby was undernourished. I asked the mother if the baby had been given powder formula and she said yes. She had breastfed the baby until she was one year old and then gave her formula. I talked with the mother about good nutrition and about feeding the baby less at one time but more times per day. I gave her some nutrition powder and other medicine for the baby. The lady came back two weeks later to get some more medicine and then she returned two weeks after that and her baby was doing much better. I weighed and measured the baby again and this time it was better. The mother was so happy that the baby was doing so much better.”
According to all of the AIL Health staff, “It is the health education and the personal attention that we give the patients that has made the most difference in the health of the women and children who come to our clinics.”
Five Reasons to Celebrate
The year 2010 has been one of many challenges for people throughout the world. In Afghanistan, insecurity, violence, and poverty continue to threaten communities. But the people of Afghanistan are strong and hopeful, and they are working hard to overcome these challenges. At the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), we see it every day. You can help Afghans, particularly women and children, to create a better future for themselves and their families with a contribution to AIL through Global Giving.
Looking back upon the year, what we focus on are our reasons to celebrate.
In fact, you make all of the other reasons to celebrate possible. Here is the rest of AIL’s top five reasons to celebrate in 2010:
Your renewed support will help AIL and the Afghan people start 2011 with renewed hope. If you have not yet renewed your support for AIL, please donate today and tell a friend. Thank you and best wishes.
Grateful and Undaunted
At this time of year, we are reminded of our many blessings and how the people in our lives enrich us and bring joy to every day. All of us at the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) are especially grateful to you, for your generous support of our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan overcome many challenges. Through education, teacher training, health care programs, and emergency assistance, as one woman put it, “… AIL is like an experienced mother in our society who is here to get more information to the women of Afghanistan.” We are able to serve that vital role – for the women, men, and children of Afghanistan – because of your contribution. Thank you!
As you celebrate this Holiday Season and anticipate the approach of the New Year, we hope that you will think of us again and make another donation to help ensure AIL is able to continue our work. You have most likely heard that Afghanistan continues to suffer terrible insecurity and poverty. But AIL is undaunted by the headlines because we know that the people of Afghanistan are working hard every day to improve their lives and the future of their country. Together with the people of Afghanistan, we are confident because we know that people like you believe in us and stand by us.
When you make your donation, check out the Tribute Card and Gift Card options – and please tell a friend about AIL and encourage them to make a donation too. As AIL’s founder and executive director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has said, “Reach out to others and give a gift to yourself."
No matter what our circumstances today, when we believe in each other and work together, we can be assured that tomorrow will be better. Seasons Greetings and thank you again.
AIL Executive Director
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