Exciting matching opportunity!!
On Tuesday, Dec. 3 beginning at noon all projects selected for YouthSpark will be eligible for matching funds from Microsoft. Donations made after noon that day will be matched at 100%. Donations will be matched between $10-1000. There are $250,000 in matching funds available. Matching will last until Dec. 4 at 11:59am, or when funds run out.
This AIL project is eligible for this matching donation!
The Afghan Institute of Learning has always been an innovative organization seeking to restore Afghan society to balance and to enable all Afghan women and girls to realize their potential and contribute fully to their nation. The AIL Conference on Love and Forgiveness in 2012 was a huge success and spawned an explosion of interest in workshops on the subjects of leadership, social entrepreneurship, elections, peace, justice, democracy, the rights of humans, women and children and incorporating traditional Afghan poetry. The adolescent age group, including girls, has been particularly interested in these subjects and that has resulted in AIL holding workshops in these subjects in many schools, high schools and at its Learning Centers.
In addition this strong and sustained interest has led AIL to start new gatherings called Ideation Symposiums where young and old from school students to housewives and professors come together to discuss concepts such as peace and justice. Most recently a symposium focused on youth participation in democracy, elections,capacity building and social entrepreneurship. In 2013, over 1,000 people have attended these educational offerings many of these have been young people.
It is the youth who are especially engaged and actively requesting this sort of training. These young people are tired of war and strife. They are seeking a different way forward where all Afghans whatever their background, ethnicity or life experiences can come together to rebuild. Reaching youth with ideas is vital as a staggering 60% of the country’s population is under the age of 24.
Here is one participant’s comments after attending a workshop:
"My name is Latifa and I am a high school student. I didn't know much about democracy because we don't study it at school. Before coming to this workshop I had always thought that democracy is a political word and belongs to politicians. Now I have another view of democracy and I think democracy is the basis of a comfortable and prosperous community and every member of the society needs to pay attention to this word. I used to think that living without democracy is not important. I thank AIL for giving me the chance to attend this workshop and increase my understanding of democracy."
Afghan girls are ready to respond and learn how to rebuild a society with core values of peace, social justice and individual responsibility and leadership. A “sea change” * has occurred in people’s minds, they are opening up and looking out as well as thinking for themselves about how to create the society they want as Afghanistan continues its transition. AIL knows that responding to the interest of youth in peace and justice is critical for the development of this new generation who will influence the course the country takes in the future. (*The Tempest)
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