The Afghan Institute of Learning is very excited to have been given the opportunity to blog at Huffington Post! Our first blog about the Women’s Networking Movement taking place in some of AIL’s centers has been posted. The Women’s Networking Movement is taking place in about 30 of AIL’s centers, schools and clinics. The women coming to these centers are sharing thoughts and ideas in ways that have not been possible until recently.
To learn more about the Women’s Networking Movement, check out our blog at Huffington Post!
Creating Hope International, AIL’s partner, has set up a Facebook page where we will be sharing more news, pictures and information about AIL’s programs. Make sure that you ‘Like’ Creating Hope International on Facebook to get all the latest news!
Thank you for your support of AIL’s project. AIL continues to be innovative and flexible in its approach to providing healthcare and health education and remains particularly focused on maternal/child care. Since September 2012, 5088 women received reproductive health care at AIL clinics.
The Expectant Mother Workshop is now well established as part of the formats offering reproductive health education to women. These workshops are now requested by women and even from women at AIL’s Learning Centers. Word has spread that the workshop is understandable and useful and makes a difference in the health of mother and child. Since September 2012 funding from this source and others has enabled AIL to provide Expectant Mother Workshops to 186 women. The results were remarkable in that 100% of the pregnant women decided to have their babies in a health facility and there were no deaths or complication. This goes against the norm in Afghan society of home births without a skilled attendant.
AIL continued with its in-depth Reproductive Health Workshops providing this to 143 women in addition to the continuing health education offered at clinics and through the Community Health Worker program. Issues of women’s reproductive health are always raised by AIL’s trained staff as this is central to women’s wellbeing. Staff are keen to reach girls and young women to help influence the younger generation and set in place habits of self care and understanding as early as possible.
This story from one participant illustrates the point: “My name is Farzana and I am 19 years old; this is my first time pregnancy. I like to be a healthy woman in my pregnancy and for my baby. Unfortunately I didn’t have information about which food is beneficial for our health. After the workshop I now understand and I learned which food is good for my health. The clinic gives us good knowledge and the best services and I want to say this is a good step for preventing the death of women.”
Thank you for your interest and for supporting AIL’s efforts.
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.
The women are beginning to see that through education they can have a better life, and are insisting on educating their children. They are taking charge of their health, and we are seeing more and more women requesting workshops on pre-natal issues as well as reproductive health. AIL is encouraged to see so many Afghan women looking forward to a brighter future and is planning to be there to help the women lead the way to the Afghanistan of their dreams.
Thank you for your support of AIL’s project. While the situation in Afghanistan continues to prove challenging, with your help AIL is finding ways to continue bringing high quality health care and education to the women of Afghanistan.
One of AIL’s major focuses has been improving the health of women by providing them with high quality health education. AIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi truly believes that the way to a healthier Afghanistan is by education it’s people in how to care for themselves. AIL has seen that when you provide health education to women, the health of the entire family improves as they share this knowledge with their family members.
In July and August AIL offered 7 Reproductive Health workshops in both Kabul and Herat to a total of 224 women and girls. These five-day workshops cover topics such as delivering a baby, problems that can occur during pregnancy, pre- and post-natal care, how to care for a new baby, breastfeeding, vaccinations, nutrition, family planning, poisoning and basic health care. The women who leave these clinics are better equipped to make health decisions which will benefit both them and their families.
In addition the Reproductive Health workshops, AIL’s office in Herat offered 4 workshops for 90 Expectant Mothers and their birth helpers. These intensive one day workshops focus on preparing the mother to give birth safely. Topics covered include the problems that can occur during pregnancy, caring for yourself before becoming pregnant, caring for yourself while pregnant, caring for yourself after delivery and the advantages of breastfeeding. One of the greatest outcomes of these workshops has been a giant decrease in the maternal and infant mortality rates of participants. There program been attended by 633 pregnant women and helpers and there has only been one death, a stillborn baby. Additionally, all but six of the pregnant women have chosen to have their babies in a clinic or hospital, a truly phenomenal statistic in Afghanistan where most women give birth at home far from any medical help.
Not only do these workshops benefit the women in attendance, they also benefit those women’s families as the following story from a participant shows.
I know a woman who has four children. One of her children was a baby girl, and during the pregnancy for this little girl the mother could not get to a doctor. The little girl’s hand was coiled in the umbilical cord which resulted in the girl being disabled. This upset the girl’s family since the girl would always face problems, and the family considered killing the child. A midwife suggested that they take the child to a doctor in Kabul for treatment. After treatment, the child is now a healthy three year old. If this mother had known what I now know, her family may have been spared some of it’s heartache. I now know about the risks of pregnancy, how to take care of myself, and how others should provide care for me. I will be sure to share this information on how to care for yourself with others.
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!
We at AIL continue to be very excited about the participation and outcomes of our expectant mother workshops. In May and June alone, our Herat medical staff held a combined four classes for 70 rural Afghan women. Each pregnant woman attends the class with a woman who will be assisting her at the time of her birth. In addition, these women are monitored throughout their pregnancy, and after. At the end of each class the women are given a package of clothing for the new baby including a hat, pinafore, swaddling blanket, shirt and sun suit, as well as post partum supplies for the mother.
We were also able to hold two reproductive health workshops in Kabul and Wardak in May for 71 women during this time period. The reproductive health workshops are a five-day intensive class, which teaches women about their health needs. In addition the women learn how to care for themselves and their baby while pregnant, the delivery process and proper nutrition both during and after pregnancy.
Thank you for your support of this project. Your donations go a long way towards educating Afghan women and helping them to have safe and health pregnancies and babies!
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