Afghans have very few opportunities for post-secondary education in Pakistan because they are refugees. Because of this, AIL opened Gawhar Shad University for Afghans. Following is the story of one of the students who attended the university in 2008. Yelda also attended other AIL programs and the story shows how AIL is empowering females through education.
“My name is Yelda. I am a student in the Computer Science College of Ghowar Shad University. 18 years ago my family, including my father, my mother, my sister and brother and I, like other Afghan people immigrated to Pakistan because at that time there was a great war in Afghanistan between the government and the mujahdin. This war destroyed all Afghanistan and killed thousands of people and the people tried to leave Afghanistan and go to other countries like Pakistan, India and Iran so we were one of those families to come to Pakistan. When we came to Pakistan, our economic situation was very bad. My father was jobless and we three were children. My father tried to find a job to support his family. Day by day we grew. My brother and sister were younger than me and we needed and wished to learn something and go to school but our life situation didn’t let us go to school because of fees. In Pakistan we lived on Arbab Road and one day one of our neighbors came to our house. She was a teacher in Ghowar Shad Begum primary and high school. She asked my mom about me and why I don’t go to school. My mom told her about our bad economic situation. Our neighbor told her that the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) works in Peshawar as an NGO and supports many schools and one of them is Ghowar Shad Begum school where I teach and this NGO helps the poor people and gives them scholarships so you can send your daughter to this school. The next day we went to Ghowar Shad Begum school and I joined this school and I tried my best to be an intelligent student and complete my education because it was my wish. I was in this school from class 1st up to class 12th . When I was in class 12th the trainers came from AIL and talked about the Ghowar Shad Begum University. I became very happy that we can learn more and more and all of this because of Professor Sakena Yacoobi who helps poor people like us and wants these people to have higher education and work somewhere so they can support themselves. Then my other classmates and I went to the AIL office for entry test and fortunately I passed this entry test successfully. In college also I have a scholarship. Then I wanted to help my family so when I was in class two in the 3rd semester, during summer vacation I participated in the teacher training technique seminar in AIL’s office to learn the new teaching methods and be a good and successful teacher. After I completed the technique seminar and received a certificate, since 2007 in the morning I teach in a girls school and in the afternoon I come to the college and continue my lessons. Now I am very happy because Anshaallah after one month I will graduate from college and also with my salary I can help my family & support my young brother & sister and I can say again all of this is because of the help of AIL.
My family and I always are thankful and pray for Professor Sakena Yacoobi that God gives her a long life, complete health and more success with all the AIL staff.”
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