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.
In 2011, the Afghan Institute of Learning held 17 Leadership Workshops, and had 630 participants. Of that number, 542 were women. This is such a wonderful program that could not have even been initiated 10 years ago. The workshops continue for seven days and the participants learn about leadership skills and also a mix of human rights, democracy and peace.
AIL has had requests to continue and expand the availability of this program. A recent participant said that she had been waiting for a long time for an AIL Leadership Workshop to be held in her area and when she learned that one was about to begin, she cancelled her meetings – two with a local mayor – and one with a governor – to attend the workshop. To her, this chance to learn was more important than the meetings she had scheduled. We are pleased to be able to offer these trainings and to expand the capacity of the citizens of Afghanistan.
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 Global Giving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
The more Leadership seminars that AIL offers, the more they are requested to provide. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for these workshops. Women especially request access to these workshops. Women are learning that they do have a voice in their homes, their communities and their Country. Men, too, are learning about equality, respect, and compromise. As part of these seminars, the participants are also learning how to resolve their differences without conflict. At the beginning of each seminar, the participants are asked who a leader is. They generally respond – a person in government – a religious leader – the President. As they go through this seminar, they come to understand that they too are leaders every day in their life – and also, to appreciate the leadership qualities of others around them.
Recently we received a story from AIL Herat that showed us that even the Afghan young people are learning and exhibiting leadership skills. A group of 20 students in one of the schools where AIL has trained teachers and held workshops have formed what we would consider a “student council” here in the United States. This is a very new concept in Afghanistan. That group has met several times and determined the best ways to assist in keeping their school organized, clean and in good repair. They even participate in the cleaning themselves. They are now playing a major role in the management of their school. It is so refreshing to see young people stepping up and being responsible for not only themselves, but also their surroundings. These students will be the next leaders of Afghanistan.
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!
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Thanks to 43 donors like you, a total of $2,362 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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