This is the story of a student at the Sar Asia Center in Herat:
I am 22 years old. Seven years ago, I came to this Center and studied sewing. I learned how to sew and the cutting of clothes. Fortunately, I now have a daily income from sewing clothes. I can earn 10 dollars per day and my family’s expenditures are 7 dollars every day. I can save three dollars each day. In one year I can save 1100 dollars. This is how I am helping my family. I continue to come to the Center to attend literacy and Arabic classes. I am now in the fourth level of literacy. When I started here, my family did not like the idea, but now they respect me and encourage me. Recently, I enrolled my mother in literacy classes so that she may also learn.
These kinds of stories touch my heart and give me hope for all women in Afghanistan. The idea that she is saving money for her future makes me smile and shows me that AIL is helping people lead better lives. I’m including a picture that we recently received from a sewing class at an AIL Learning Center in Kabul.
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.
We love to see attitudes changing in Afghanistan. As you are likely aware, under the rule of the Taliban, women and girls were not permitted to attend school. It has been quite an adjustment for some Afghan men to accept the idea of an educated or skilled woman. We received these comments from Mohammad, the father of one of the Sewing Class students at Nasir Khisraw Learning Center:
“I would like to thank the A.I.L office for its effective support. My daughter has learned sewing very well. Now she can skillfully sew her and family members’ cloth. Through this skill, she has rendered a great contribution to herself and her family as she economically supports her family and is engaged in an efficient occupation. It is all because of Nasir Khisraw’s teacher’s hard work. I really appreciate their hard work, and I am also thankful for the A.I.L office who has hired skillful teachers to provide efficient services to the society.”
Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through GlobalGiving. 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 GlobalGiving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
During 2011, 1719 women were instructed in sewing through the learning centers of the Afghan Institute of Learning. That means that 1719 women are better equipped to become independent and/or financially assist their families. Many of these women open their own businesses, while others sew from their homes and provide clothing for their own families and members of their community for a small fee. Still others go to work for large businesses that require their skill level.
Thank you to all of you who provided support for these women.
AIL is continuing to teach women tailoring as a skill that they can learn quickly and immediately improve their circumstances. As these women graduate from the program, they set up businesses in their own homes sewing clothing for other people in their community. Sabra* had this to say:
"I am a house wife the same as the other women in Darqara village a part of Enjil district, Herat. I am 28 years old and I am the mother of three children.
Once I heard the neighbors talking about a new established learning center which provides services such as: literacy, Arabic, and sewing for those women who are house wife and uneducated with a very less payment and even they enroll the poor in the course without any payment. I consulted with my husband and shared the issue with him; he told if this center is only for women you can go and learn sewing.
I went to the learning center and based on the information I got from the office knew that this center is only for women and girls. I registered myself in the sewing course and, as a result of my efforts and the teachers’ efforts, I could learn this profession within eight months.
Now in Darqaraa village I am busy with this profession and solve my family and neighbors’ problems. I live in a good economic situation and help my husband with the house expanses. I keep praying for this foundation and the teachers which saved me from joblessness."
Another AIL Project, “Transform Lives of 70,000 Afghan Adolescent Girls” has been chosen to be part of the Girl Effect Challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 15, 2011. Approximately 60 projects have been included in this challenge. The top six projects with the highest number of unique donations will become part of the Girl Effect Fund for one year and each is expected to earn an additional $25,000. Please check out our project #8791, and thank you for your generous support of our programs!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.