Maternal/child health is one of AIL’s major areas of concern in the health field. Women face an unacceptably high risk of death in childbirth due to lack of access to basic health care and trained health care providers. Since the start of 2013, 10,836 women received reproductive health care at AIL clinics, 250 women (including 126 pregnant women) attended Expectant Mother Workshops and 515 attended Reproductive Health Workshops.
The Expectant Mother Workshops, now in a third full year of operation, continue to yield remarkable results in that 100% of women who attend them choose a clinic based birth rather than the cultural norm of home delivery. AIL has continued with its Reproductive Health Workshops (RH) in addition to continuing health education offered at clinics and through the Community Health Worker program. Mini workshops are also offered when needed and are a more condensed workshop experience specially suited to those with limited time available or issues of transport.
Attached to this report is our year end newsletter. We hope you will take a few minutes to look it over. Thank you.
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!
As you know, if you have been receiving these reports for a while, Afghanistan has the highest rate of infant mortality in the world, with nearly 12% of babies born perishing before their first birthday. Additionally, the maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan is among the highest in the world. The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) believes that one of the best ways to improve the health of babies and mothers is through education, and AIL has developed several programs to help provide women with the information they need to have healthier pregnancies, births and children.
One of the first health workshops developed by AIL was the Reproductive Health workshop. This workshop covers topics such as problems that can occur during pregnancy, the process of delivering a child, pre and post-natal care, caring for an infant, breastfeeding, family planning, vaccination, nutrition for mothers and children, and more. During the first 6 months of 2013, AIL has held three Reproductive Health workshops for 100 women. Some of these women were teachers who said that, where appropriate, they plan to pass this information on to their students, furthering AIL’s message.
Participants in a recent Reproductive Health Workshops said:
"This workshop has helped me learn how to plan my family. Before this workshop I didn’t know anything about family planning and I was suffering. Now, I have learned a lot of things that I needed to know. I am happy that I can plan my family now. I wish that all women could attend these workshops.
I know women who don’t know much about this subject. I want all women and girls who would like to one day have a family to participate in these workshops. I would like to share everything that I learned in this workshop with all of the women around me to who need to know these things."
After years of offering Reproductive Health workshops to women, AIL decided to offer a more intensive workshop to pregnant women and their birth helpers. The Expectant Mother’s workshop covers pre and post-natal care, care of an infant, information about safe delivery, breastfeeding, nutrition, and more. At the end of each workshop, the mothers are given a layette set, which we’ve described in prior reports. During the two years that this program has been offered nearly all of the women have chosen to give birth in a hospital, as opposed to the traditional, but dangerous practice of giving birth at home. All of the participants of the program have survived childbirth, and there has been only one stillbirth. During the first six months of 2013, AIL has been able to offer this workshop six times to a total of 122 women.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a dangerous time for a woman in Afghanistan, but AIL programs are proving that it doesn’t have to be that way. When Afghan women are educated about their health and options available to them, they will make healthier choices, which lead to healthier babies and families. Thank you for supporting AIL’s continuing efforts to make pregnancy, childbirth and infancy safer for Afghan women and babies!
Maternal/child health are two of the 8 Millennium Development Goals and two of AIL’s major areas of concern in the health field. Women and babies face an unacceptably high risk of death in childbirth due to lack of access to basic health care and trained health care providers. Since the start of 2013, 6,782 women have received reproductive health care at AIL clinics; 122 women attended Expectant Mother Workshops; and 100 attended Reproductive Health Workshops. Healthier mothers and children are the result.
Now in its third full year of operation, the Expectant Mother Workshops continue to yield remarkable results in that 100% of women who attend them choose a clinic-based birth rather than the cultural norm of home delivery. AIL has continued with its Reproductive Health Workshops (RH) in addition to continuing health education offered at clinics and through the Community Health Worker program. Mini workshops are also offered when needed and are a more condensed workshop experience specially suited to those with limited time available or issues of transport.
The RH workshops are in depth educational offerings providing a comprehensive view of women’s health concerns. Most recently AIL held workshops in the more troubled provinces of Dykondi and Wardak after receiving requests from women living there. Attendees often have tragic stories of childbirth trauma and these experiences prompt them to seek help and knowledge as in this case:
One workshop participant said: “My daughter-in-law died in her first child delivery and the reason she died was my carelessness, because I didn’t allow my daughter in law delivery at the hospital and in this area there weren’t any midwives. I tried to help her during her delivery but I lost my daughter in law because I didn’t have experience and her blood group was negative and that caused problems. I wished that I had joined this workshop one year ago so I could have helped my daughter in law.”
We are most grateful for your interest in and your support of this project. Reaching women of child bearing age with accurate information about pregnancy and child birth is truly a life saving effort.
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!
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