Grateful and Undaunted
At this time of year, we are reminded of our many blessings and how the people in our lives enrich us and bring joy to every day. All of us at the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) are especially grateful to you, for your generous support of our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan overcome many challenges. Through education, teacher training, health care programs, and emergency assistance, as one woman put it, “… AIL is like an experienced mother in our society who is here to get more information to the women of Afghanistan.” We are able to serve that vital role – for the women, men, and children of Afghanistan – because of your contribution. Thank you!
As you celebrate this Holiday Season and anticipate the approach of the New Year, we hope that you will think of us again and make another donation to help ensure AIL is able to continue our work. You have most likely heard that Afghanistan continues to suffer terrible insecurity and poverty. But AIL is undaunted by the headlines because we know that the people of Afghanistan are working hard every day to improve their lives and the future of their country. Together with the people of Afghanistan, we are confident because we know that people like you believe in us and stand by us.
When you make your donation, check out the Tribute Card and Gift Card options – and please tell a friend about AIL and encourage them to make a donation too. As AIL’s founder and executive director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has said, “Reach out to others and give a gift to yourself.”
No matter what our circumstances today, when we believe in each other and work together, we can be assured that tomorrow will be better. Seasons Greetings and thank you again.
AIL Executive Director
Fatima, one of the sewing students, talks about the benefits of learning sewing at the AIL center:
“I am thirty years old. I have two children and we have economic problems. My husband is a painter who works hard in the rural areas of our country. I tried a lot but couldn’t find a way to earn a little money; I wanted to help my family. I chose this job (sewing) because this way I can find money for us and I can help our family. One of my neighbors learned to sew at the AIL Center. She learned sewing and bought a sewing machine and earned money to spend in the family and children and right now she does her business in order to help her family. In fact she motivated me for sewing and I went to the AIL center to register for the sewing class. I have studied sewing for eight months now; I can sew every model of clothes especially Afghan custom clothes and fortunately I received a certificate from the course. I want to speak for all the women that participate in the courses because Professor Sakena Yacoobi says learning is the first way of improving Afghanistan and all of the women should participate in the courses.”
The sewing and tailoring classes at AIL’s Learning Centers are continuing to be one of the most popular skills training courses. During the first 6 months of 2010, there were 1372 students studying tailoring.
Here is a story from one of the sewing students at the Sar Asia learning center: “I was born in an illiterate family. My family didn’t want me to study until I came here. I hope that one day I will become a good tailor in my society for the servicing of my people. Afghanistan women, as you know, are suffering many pains right to have the need to help. I think I should work hard in my society because my country needs to reconstruct. Thanks for AIL who help the people of my village.”
Another women shares: “My name is Fawzia. I live a very hard life and I am not able to pay a fee. My father is disabled and is at home. One day, when I went to our neighbor’s house to work and to earn bread for my family, I saw their daughters learning sewing. I asked them where they learned sewing. They said at the AIL Nasir Khisraw center. They said that they were graduated from the sewing class and had their certificates. That is why they were able to sew at home to find money and to help their family.
“When I heard this, I wanted to go to this center and learn sewing. Now it has been 5 months that I came and learned sewing in this center. I can sew and no one needs to help me. I want to thank the AIL Office to help us (poor people) for opening such centers to learn, and then help ourselves and our families. I wish this organization success after success.”
We’d like to share some great news with you that will give you a better understanding of our project and the work we do in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Through the generosity of the Skoll Foundation, a timely video was produced about life in Afghanistan and the work AIL is doing to make a difference. The film producer and crew did a beautiful job capturing the essence of the best of the Afghan people, and the struggles they work with to achieve a better life. This film is now on YouTube, and it will be the best seven minutes you spend today. Moderated by Sakena Yacoobi, AIL’s executive director, this video offers a true taste of Afghanistan. Here’s the link to view it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t1Xu_MwHg
We are also adding this as a permanent link to this project for future viewing.
Your donation makes a precious impact on the lives of Afghan men, women and children. We thank you for your past support, and encourage you to forward this message to those who can help to continue this important work.
A reminder: June 16 is a special Global Giving Matching Day! - GlobalGiving will be matching all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project for this project at a 50% match. If you could like to donate again to our project, your donation will go further on June 16th. Thank you for your support….
Ninety five to one hundred percent of the women trained in the Afghan Institute of Learning’s Tailoring courses use their skill to help support their families. Here’s a story of one successful student: “I got admitted in the tailoring course. I finished the course, and according to the manager’s advice, I started the advanced course of tailoring. By completing this course, I became a professional tailor. I have a lot of customers and I work up to midnight to sew my customer’s dresses on time. I also have a contract with the market and sew their products according to their order. Before I came to the AIL center, I was a disappointed person and I used to think I could not do anything for my family. What I am now is because of the AIL center in our area.”
Other AIL Accomplishments in 2009 included:
• AIL trained over 1,800 Afghan teachers in pedagogy subjects, leadership, human rights, and school health. These teachers went to their classes and directly impacted over 500,000 students teaching these important subjects.
• Nearly 23,000 students (primarily women and children) attended classes at AIL educational learning centers.
• Over 362,000 Afghans received medical treatment and health education from AIL’s 6 health clinics and community health worker program.
• In January 2010, AIL expanded humanitarian aid efforts with the harsh winter and reached out to 22 families in need. AIL staff delivered to each family quantities of rice, cooking oil and tea. Most heads of the family were widows with children from Herat, and were recommended by community members.
• In February 2010, flooding in the Enjil district of Herat destroyed many family homes, and AIL responded with a concerted effort of initial food aid.
Reminder: On March 16, 2010, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made to any project on www.globalgiving.org by 30% (up to $1,000 per person)! If you could like to donate again to our project, your donation will go further on March 16th!!!
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