Last month I spent an evening with Sakena Yacoobi, the founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). The Institute manages “Fast-Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls,” one of the projects in the Safer World Fund. In just a couple of hours, my admiration for educators in that part of the world quadrupled.
Sakena is a remarkable woman who has offered learning opportunities to countless women and girls in Afghanistan for several decades. She understands well the setback caused by many years of Taliban rule in her country when girls and women were forbidden from going to school. But today she is optimistic about her country’s future as she sees a keen hunger for education amidst all the challenges. The schools provided by the government have lower standards than she would like, so she works tirelessly to train teachers, develop curriculum, provide learning materials and build schools through AIL.
The Afghan Institute of Learning is just one example of the terrific work of the nine organizations in the Safer World Fund. Please tell your friends and family to be inspired and take advantage of the remaining matching funds today. Thank you so much for your support of education, training, and health care--especially for women and girls--in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Tuesday’s attack on a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was a powerful advocate for girls’ education reminds us of the struggle to offer girls the opportunity to go to school. Malala Yousafzai had spoken eloquently to promote education for girls and children’s rights in the Swat Valley, close to the Afghan border. She became a powerful symbol of resistance to Taliban ideology.
“Malala is our pride. She became an icon for the country,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
The Taliban took responsibility for the shooting, and the people of Pakistan have come together to express their revulsion for the act. Malala remains in serious condition in Peshawar.
Malala’s bravery in speaking out and the Taliban’s heinous act point to the continued relevance of the Safer World Fund. The nine projects in the Safer World Fund focus on education and health care, especially for women and girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please spread the word that the 1-for-2 match remains in place until all matching funds are gone. Whether you specifically support secondary education for 30 girls in Pakistan, prefer to help 200 women in Pakistan launch successful businesses, or choose to support the Safer World Fund overall, we hope you’ll agree what a great way this is to show your support for Malala and other girls who want to go to school.
On September 1, 2012, a fresh pool of matching funds was announced for the Safer World Fund and the programs it supports. In conjunction with the anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001, we feel it is important to renew our support of these organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan as they continue to provide education, vocational training, and health care. Like last year, donations to the participating projects will be matched at 50%. As we aim to knock down terrorism by providing more appealing alternatives, we are pleased to partner with organizations such as Afghan Institute of Learning, Ayni Education International, Girls Education International, Help the Afghan Children, Jhpiego, MADRE, Marie Stopes International, and Marshall Direct Fund. Each of these terrific groups offers tremendous hope for the future. We look forward to another successful year of supporting these organizations and would like to thank them – and you – for continuing to move toward a safer world!
Thanks for your continued generosity towards helping us make the world a safer place! With your help, we are continuing to support education, vocational training, and health care in Pakistan and Afghanistan with some amazing partners.
Girls such as the one pictured in this report want to learn. Mothers need health care for their babies and themselves. Our fund works with terrific nonprofits to change the lives of people, especially girls and women, every day. For example, The Afghan Institute of Learning is supporting education for Afghan women and girls. SHINE Humanity is providing mother-child health for 40,000 Kashmiris. Ayni Education International is offering schooling for girls and boys in rural Afghanistan and is training local teachers to make it happen.
Your donation to The Safer World Fund or any of its eight partners will be matched 50 cents on the dollar as long as the matching funds last. But less than $1500 remains, so take action today!
We recently added a new project to the list of Safer World beneficiaries: the expansion of a rural grade school outside of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, funded and led by Ayni. The Safer World Fund is helping to add four classrooms, a library and furnishings to the school, for which Ayni founder Julie Bolz led the initial build in 2003. Since 2003, the local community has embraced the school and Ayni funded two additional classrooms in 2010. In 2011, enrollment grew to 1,440 school students attending in two daily shifts, yet additional space is still needed in order to serve all children in the community. The community has demonstrated a strong desire to educate its children to give them opportunities in life otherwise unavailable to them, but it needs our help to make that happen.
This school, along with the rest of the Safer World Fund projects, continues to benefit from the 50% matching funds available to them! On their behalf and ours, we’d like to thank you for your continued support.
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SMCWF Fund Manager