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….
In 2009, the Afghan Institute of Learning supported 28 learning centers in Herat, Mazar, Bamiyan and Kabul, Afghanistan and in Peshawar, Pakistan. Many centers previously supported have successfully met their goals or gone on to become self sufficient- the end goal that AIL strives for. Our supported centers served a total of 22,765 Afghan women, men and children in classes ranging from pre-school to university students. These centers have a huge impact on the lives of our students, since these Afghans have no other alternatives for receiving a quality education.
Here is a story that demonstrates how AIL classes impact women: “I liked the beauty parlor class, and I got admitted to this course. Since I started learning this skill, I have found many friends in the center and the community. I’m able to find out what kind of make-up and hairstyle they like to have. I graduated from this course and started my own business. Day by day I learn more and increase my skill. Now, I help many poor women by doing their hair dressing and make-up. This skill brings me a good income in my community. I can buy the tools and equipments I need for my beautician shop, and I can provide better service for my people. I also help my family with my income- this is all because of the AIL center.”
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!!!
Dear donors to the ‘Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women’:
We want to sincerely thank you for your many donations to this important project in Afghanistan. Our original goal was to reach $100,000.00, and we are nearly at that goal. However, due to the ongoing needs in Afghanistan, there is a still critical demand to offer education and health choices for Afghan women. Giving these women the opportunity to become literate, remain healthy, get an education and learn skills to make a living is essential for a strong family and community.
We have increased our funding goal to $200,000.00 to address this ongoing need. The Afghan Institute of Learning and Creating Hope International have used your donated funds to establish and continue educational and health classes in our educational learning centers. Students are learning to read and have gone on to other subjects such as math, science, and computer technology. Women are learning skills like tailoring to help their families and earn an income. In all our classes we also discuss human rights, democratic principles and peace. We continue to provide health services to women and children in our health clinics. Your donations have, and will, continue to empower Afghan women, who sincerely appreciate this chance to improve and grow in their daily lives.
Thank you again for all your support.
Afghanistan is in the news a lot these days. As a donor to a project in Afghanistan, you may be wondering if change is happening, and if your donation really makes any difference.
Following is a message from Dr. Sakena Yacoobi that answers your questions. It’s part of our annual newsletter, where we also share progress reports from several areas, and the impact AIL’s work is having in Afghan lives. This newsletter is below in a PDF format; we invite you to click on it and read ALL the details……
From Sakena Yacoobi:
First, I want to thank all of you for supporting the work of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Your support is so important. Yes, the funds you send help us to bring education and health to so many Afghan women and children. But, more importantly, in this time of increasing violence and insecurity in Afghanistan, your support helps Afghans to know that they are not forgotten. It gives ordinary Afghan women, men and children the courage to keep studying, to keep going to clinics and to keep working for peace.
Today you probably hear that Afghanistan is a place of war, terrorist bombings, burning of schools, kidnapping, drugs and all kinds of other horrible things. And it is true that in every province of Afghanistan, including the capitol, every single day, these kinds of things are happening. But what you might not hear in your news is that everyday many women, men and children of Afghanistan get up in the morning….. say goodbye to their family…..and go to work….. go to schools and centers ….. go to trainings……because they know that they must be educated. They know that the only way they can stop these problems is to be educated. So they are learning, they are teaching and they are not afraid.
And when there is no electricity or no clean water or no school or no road or no job and there is no help from the national government or the international agencies, Afghans, particularly women, are joining together in community or with their local officials to find ways to solve their own
problems. And, with your help, AIL is helping them to do this.
I want to let you know that as dark as it seems to be in Afghanistan now, much is happening. Afghans, themselves, are changing. They are educating themselves; they are making sure that their children are educated; they are finding new ways to solve their problems. I would ask you to walk with us a little further on our journey towards peace.
TO READ the rest of our annual newsletter, please click on the PDF link below and it will open for your inspection-
Thank you for your support. Your desire to make a difference in this world has made a difference, and we are so thankful that Afghan people have had their lives changed with your help.
We wanted to share with you a very special opportunity to give more than 100% from November 10 through December 1st. Please share this with those you know who care. During this time, we are privileged to receive additional matching funds from your donation through Global Giving of at least 30%. The need is still great. Afghanistan struggles to become a country of strength and stability.
Here are 3 stories of women who have found the power within their lives:
Khalida returned from Iran a few years ago. She faced many problems in Afghanistan, like lack of a job, because she was illiterate. Fortunately, she was introduced to the AIL center by one of her friends. Her first priority was to be literate and she started the literacy class. After she completed the 6th grade level, she got admitted in the embroidery class because she wanted to learn a skill so she can have an income to help her family. She learned this skill too, and graduated from the course. Right now she works at this center as the trainer of embroidery. She is so happy because she teaches other women there to be self sufficient. She added that AIL changed her life, and she would like to thank all the AIL staff because of their good work for the community.
Another woman said “My uncle forced my cousin to sit at home and not go to school because the situation in Afghanistan is not good and girls are for housework. He believed girls do not have the right to be educated and it’s shaming for them. After I took an AIL workshop, I got up my courage and I went to my uncle’s house to talk with him. I made him agree that education is important. Now, after two years, my cousin has joined the school and she is very happy.”
Says Ghorsana, “During the war in Afghanistan we went to Pakistan, where we had a very bad life. I was at home and my husband was selling water. I joined a sewing course and I finished the course successfully. I then got a sewing machine and started a sewing course at home for other Afghan refugees. One of my students had a bit of money, so she bought two other sewing machines for students to work on. At night I sewed clothes for people, and during the day I had sewing classes. Slowly my life became good. When we came back to Kabul, my husband and I got our previous jobs back and now we are living happily. I empowered myself and also many of my students are sewing and financially covering the needs of their families. I am happy that I had a good vision.”
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