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!
As part of AIL’s ongoing goal of providing Health Care and Health Education to the Afghan people, they have conducted many workshops already this year. Three Expectant Mother workshops have been held, and all of the pregnant women that attended these workshops will be followed and monitored throughout their pregnancy and for several months after the birth of their child. The results of these workshops are promising. From the final numbers in 2011, there was only one stillborn out of the 37 deliveries, and 1 complication - at a rate of 2.7% compared to the national average of 5.2% according to the Afghan government. There were no maternal deaths compared to the national rate of 1.4% (UNICEF).
In addition, AIL has held two reproductive health workshops and sixty women attended. These women were both housewives and professionals, including 18 teachers who will then be able to pass on the information that they learned.
We know that AIL has many more workshops planned for 2012 in addition to their continuous health education sessions held every day in their clinics.
Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving. Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.
Since 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has been helping Afghans lift themselves above the devastation of war by providing education, training, health care, and health education. AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs, like building blocks that together form a whole structure. While delivering these basic services AIL has also been able to promote critical thinking skills and model and teach human rights, women’s rights, peace, democracy, and leadership. With new skills and information, Afghans are becoming empowered and hopeful. Through your financial support, you have been a part of these seeds of systemic change.
Through the natural progression that exists when people begin to think for themselves, AIL often receives requests from Afghans who want to find ways to work together to promote love, understanding, and forgiveness to their people in order to return to a peaceful way of life; the way of their country’s history. Supported by Fetzer Institute, AIL is responding to these requests by holding an International Conference on Love and Forgiveness this Spring that will be shared throughout the country and internationally via film. This conference will focus on the study of Afghan poets and musicians, particularly the work of Mawlana (Rumi). Participating in the conference will be poets, writers, Sufis and government representatives from all parts of Afghanistan and the world.
Joining the Conference, in person, or via film or writings, are:
AIL invites you to join Afghans in thought and through your own study of music and poetry that brings us all closer to the peaceful world we endeavor to achieve.
Just an update on our Expectant Mother Program. The results from the program for 2011 are in and we are ecstatic! Of the 118 pregnant women in the program, exactly half, 59, had delivered by the end of the year. Of those, only one chose to have a home birth and the other 58 had clinic births. There were no stillborn and no complications for any of these mothers. These statistics are phenomenal and we couldn’t be more pleased! The other 59 women in the program are still being followed by the AIL staff and we hope to have more good news in upcoming reports.
Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through Global Giving. Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match. The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted. So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of Global Giving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
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