One of AIL’s focus age groups is adolescent girls. AIL reaches them and improves their lives and prospects through its educational offerings, in depth training and health program.
AIL runs a comprehensive Health Program that encompasses health treatment, health education and health training. The workshop program is very popular and in 2014 AIL provided 11 Reproductive Health Workshops for 390 women. These women learned about their bodies, pregnancy and birth and newborn care. They are now much better equipped to care for themselves as they go through life. Many younger women have babies early in life so having access to this knowledge early is very important. The workshop participants vary in age and background, sometimes there are a few under the age of 20 other times as many as three quarters of the group are under the age of 20. Even if it is their mother who attends a workshop, an adolescent girl still benefits from the knowledge the mother brings home and shares with her daughter and the changed behavior in the household. All of this improves that girl’s chance of a healthy life and safe child bearing years.
AIL also provides 3 hour Expectant Mother Workshops (EM) which are another quick and easy way for women to learn what they need to know. In 2014, AIL gave 15 EM Workshops for 380 women (190 pregnant) and remarkably all of the 137 births recorded so far were at clinics rather than a risky home birth situation. In the four years this program has been running only one recorded birth occurred at home out of 439 births. AIL is helping to create an attitude that clinic based birth is an accepted new norm in society. In addition to its focused workshops, AIL has provided thousands of women with reproductive health education through the AIL clinics and Community Health Workers posts. Many of the females who attend these talks are adolescent girls mothers of adolescent girls.
Thank you for your interest in Afghan women’s health issues in Afghanistan.
Afghan females are the ones who got left behind and suffered most in the decades of strife experienced by Afghanistan. Now they are catching up and more than that excelling! AIL has over 25,000 students in its Learning Centers (LCs) each year. The women and girls study academic subjects, income generating skills and make friends and form social networks.
Computers are hugely important in the job world in Afghanistan as computing skills are highly desirable to employers. Young girl students are aware of this fact and are also fascinated by computers. Adolescent girls are keen to acquire these skills and they do well in computer classes that teach Word, Excel and Windows.
These classes change lives as one student said,” For poor people in our country AIL is the seashore at the time of a shipwreck and as a poet said, you should take the hand of a falling person when you stand on your feet. In this situation AIL is a boat for the generation of youth and we will never forget their help.”
Many of AIL’s centers offer computing classes and as an example, in September, in Herat Province there were 346 female students studying computing at LCs. There is also a special English and Computing 6 month course offered at a few centers. The latter course is especially popular as it combines two highly regarded skills and makes navigating the internet that much easier.
Thanks for your support. We have included Creating Hope International’s 2014 newsletter which contains information on AIL’s work. We hope you will take a few minutes to read it.
What is it really like being an AIL student? How does it transform lives? We wanted to hear students’ opinions and thought you would too, so we sent out an interviewer to gather some stories. Here are two perspectives:
My name is Zahra and I am a computer class student in AIL.
Question: How old are you?
Answer: I am 14 years old.
Question: How long have you been taking the computer class at AIL and what do you think about it?
Answer: I have been attending the class for about 6 months. Everything that we need is prepared. The teacher is kind and comes to class with a happy face. She teaches all the computing skills to us. The students love the class and are interested to learn. I think the class is successfully run. It has positive impact on the life of each student. AIL rescues children like me from a dark future by having these classes. We are all happy about the class.
Question: How has computer class changed your life?
Answer: The class has brought great changes in my own life. I can feel the changes. I learned about the computer’s benefits and I told my family about them. I am able to solve most of my problems with my computer. I solve the mathematical problems and earn much success. Also I am connected to the outside world by the internet. It has impacted my social communication in society as now I know many more people. I promised to teach all these things that I learned to my friends.
My name is Sarah and I am eighteen years old.
Question: Would you please tell us something about your past?
Answer: I was born into a poor family, where we were living in poverty and I was deprived of getting an education. Now I am enrolled in sewing class where I am being trained, while other girls of my age are going to school and they are in 12th grade. Since I have been suffering from joblessness and illiteracy, I asked my father to let me participate in this sewing class to improve myself so I can become a vital member of the family and for my children in the future.
Question: What do you think of your course?
Answer: There are a lot of great things being done in this AIL learning center and our teacher is really successful at executing the entire program practically. He makes us to do the assignments so that we expand our mental and physical abilities.
Question: What kinds of changes can you observe since you have been coming to this course?
Answer: I have learned a great deal of things since the first day I came to this center for instance: cutting clothes, making blouses and other clothes and many other things which are related to this. I am seeing some positive changes in myself. I want to thank the AIL center for providing us with such great classes where we can improve the level of our knowledge and become a positive member of the society.
Thank you for your support of this project.
Starting at Noon EST today you can double your donation to the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)!! GlobalGiving and Microsoft YouthSpark are offering $200,000 in matching funds, but the funds will go fast! The last time they offered a 100% match funds ran out in just 15 minutes.
If you’d like to help AIL, please visit our project page right at Noon EST.
AIL’s mobile literacy program is using mobile phones and texting to teach girls to read. One of the mobile literacy students says, “My name is Hava. Before this course, I didn’t know how to use a mobile phone, but I have learned during this class. I also learned how to read and write. I have learned about what is happening in my country. I have even made many good friends. I am so happy to come to the course each day and spend time with my friends. We practice reading and writing by sending each other text messages. I am so thankful to AIL for this course.”
We thank you for helping to support our project. We hope that you will support us again at noon today!
Let’s put our hands together, let’s get together.
Our hands hold our votes and our votes hold our future.
My fellow citizen It’s my vote, it’s your vote
It’s a privilege for enduring peace
My dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hands.
On April 5th, an historic election was held in Afghanistan. Over 7 million voters participated, and the elections were generally a peaceful affair. We at AIL hosted election workshops leading up to the vote, and asked the managers of our Learning Centers to educate students at the centers about why the vote was important, what steps they needed to take in order to vote, how to research and select candidates, and how to vote.
The effort to encourage Afghans to vote was not limited to our workshops and Learning Centers however. At a private school owned by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (our CEO) the Arts and Culture Teacher, Mehrjui, set a poem she had written about the election to music. The song encourages all Afghans to become aware of their responsibilities, to select a good candidate for President and to vote. The PSYPS Arts and Culture students sang this song at a celebration on International Women’s Day as well as at our election workshops. The song was incredibly well received, moving many in the audience.
The students, staff, and administration at the school quickly realized how powerful their song was, so with the help of the AIL Academic Advisor and the AIL video production team, they set about recording their song so that it could be shared with a wider audience. They had no idea how popular the song was about to become.
The song quickly went viral, being aired on Afghanistan’s National TV station, as well as on eleven other stations. The song has been played many times over and candidates running for president even asked if they could buy the song to use in their campaign. The PSYPS students and staff declined to sell the song, deciding the purpose of the song was to encourage all Afghans to participate in the elections, not to support just one candidate.
As Afghanistan moves closer to a runoff election this summer, the song continues to be played on the radio and the video over the airwaves. In short, the song continues to encourage Afghans to participate in the upcoming elections and to make sure their voices are heard.
We encourage you to take a moment to view the video made by the students, to read the lyrics below and to see the hope in these young people’s faces. After watching, we hope that you will stand with the youth of Afghanistan, and join us as we work with them to create a peaceful future for their nation.
With one vote, we can be our sultan, our voice
For a better choice for a better leader
My dear fellow citizen, with our vote leadership is in our hand
My fellow citizen, stride, my fellow citizen!
With the name of God, we speak from the power of our thoughts
From our decision, unity, humanity and right
No longer speak of suicide bombing, explosion, but of creativity and pride
Don’t speak of the hills under the thorn
Speak of the friendship of verdant soil and the rose garden
Speak of spring, spring and spring
Let’s hope that this spring Afghanistan will turn into a magnificent garden. A garden in which the smell of every rose invites the world for a spectacle.
Let’s hope for a different spring, for a different year and for a different Afghanistan
Don’t forget my fellow citizen, our rendezvous is in front of ballot boxes on April 5, 2014
Our choice is the remedy
Our choice is for the day of rendezvous
Who we want will be crowned sultan
Attend the opportunity with passion and turn the enemies into wretches
This colored finger is the guiding path and this fist is the hummer for the oppressor
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