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.
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.
In our last report, I mentioned AIL’s Leadership seminars being in high demand. The results that we are seeing from these seminars are astounding. The women who are attending are not only improving their own lives, but also working to improve their neighbors and communities. Here is an example:
“I am now a woman with high education. I have many economic problems, but I couldn’t work out of home to earn anything. The low salary of my husband couldn’t solve our problems. After joining the Leadership Workshop, I learned that I have to be aware of my abilities. I should attend some courses in order to provide services to both my family and my people. One of the participants in Leadership Workshop guided me to attend a Sewing Course so I attended the course and learned sewing. I sewed cloth and sold it. With my earnings I could buy a sewing machine. Then I established a sewing course. I taught some students who were mostly illiterate girls and women. Now all of them are intelligent and talented tailors and spend their life sewing and earning respectfully.”
It is so exciting to watch the expansion of women’s thoughts in Afghanistan. By offering an education to them, their thirst for knowledge just keeps growing. At every village that AIL is invited into to start a program or offer a workshop, we see the women requesting more and more information. They consistently ask for other workshops and seminars to be made available to them – and to others in their communities. It appears that once you offer a person a chance to become literate – they just want to continue learning. These women in the AIL learning centers request more classes including skill classes such as sewing, computers, calligraphy, painting, drawing – and subject classes such as English, science and math. In addition, as word spreads about leadership seminars, AIL receives more and more requests to offer their programs in more communities. These women want to improve their lives and their communities and see their Country flourish.
Thank you for supporting these women!
The main focus of the Afghan Institute of Learning is to educate and provide health care and health education to women and children in order to promote a healthy, promising, bright and peaceful society. Students at the AIL Learning Centers know that continuing their education is important for their own future and for the future of their communities, and they are filled with hope and dreams of a better tomorrow. Pari, a student at the Zarghoona Ana Learning Center believes that she will continue her education. She presently takes classes in literacy and sewing. She dreams that she will one day become a great tailor and be in a position to do great things for her people. She hopes to then teach others how to sew so that they too will be able to prosper.
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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