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May 1, 2018

Honoring Mothers in Afghanistan

Foruzan can now help her kids with their studies.
Foruzan can now help her kids with their studies.

Dear friends,

Hello from Kabul! We’ve had a busy few months working with women and girls across Afghanistan to help them reach their educational dreams.  In February, Aid Afghanistan for Education was awarded “Best Practice in Financial Management” by the Afghan Institute for Civil Society, and also received certifications in program management and delivery, internal governance, strategic planning, and other areas. Learn more.

In March, our founder and director Hassina Sherjan traveled to Oxford in the United Kingdom to speak at the World Literacy Summit. She spoke with other world educators about the issues that current education systems produce around the world: individuals programmed with information, instead of people who can think critically for themselves. Hassina believes standard education does not produce happy and joyful people, which contributes to unrest in the world. She also discussed the need for a new international development approach to support long-term programs instead of short-term projects.

We also celebrated International Women’s Day in March with the release of an updated video about AAE’s impact, which follows the stories of four women we’ve worked with over the years. Foruzan, a mother studying in 12th grade; Rona, a math teacher who was once a cook at the first AAE school; Anita, a graduate that became a midwife; and Hamida, who recently graduated from the American University of Afghanistan. Watch the video here.

Mother’s Day in the United States is on May 13, and we’re thrilled that GlobalGiving is helping us honor Afghan mothers by organizing a Mother’s Day campaign! From May 1 through 13, you can donate in your mother’s honor to support Afghan women’s education. For the mother who has everything, a donation supporting other mothers can be an amazing gift. If you start a new monthly donation, it will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving.

We’re so grateful to have your support for Afghan mothers like Foruzan, who tells her story in the video linked above. And to every mother reading this, have a very happy Mother’s Day!

Hassina at the World Literacy Summit
Hassina at the World Literacy Summit
Afghan Institute for Civil Society award
Afghan Institute for Civil Society award
Jan 31, 2018

Meet the newest members of the AAE team

We believe that all women in Afghanistan should have equal access to education, no matter their age, marital status, or if they ever left Afghanistan as a refugee. Many of our students are older, married, or lived in Pakistan or Iran during the years of war. After returning to Afghanistan, no public schools would take them because of their age—many weren’t able to attend school during their time abroad. As a result, they are behind in their education and need an accelerated curriculum to catch up. That’s where AAE comes in.

Recently, two graduates have joined the AAE team as interns in the finance department. Sahebjaan is 25 years old and graduated from AAE in 2016. After spending 14 years in Pakistan as a refugee—the majority of her life—she returned to Kabul at age 18 with only a sixth-grade education. She learned about AAE through her friends and is focused on finding a job so she can continue her education at university. Listen to Sahebjaan talk about her life.

Nafisa, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, lived as a refugee in Pakistan for ten years. She graduated in 2015 after starting sixth grade at age 17 and is enjoying learning about finance and office skills. She’s hoping to gain skills to help her find a job to pay for university, just like Sahebjaan. University tuition is around $100 a month. By learning how nonprofits work from the inside out, Nafisa and Sahebjaan are discovering new ways to give back to their country.

We’re so happy to have these brilliant graduates join our finance team! By working with them and teaching them about the financial aspects of nonprofits, we hope to support their long-term dreams and goals.

The AAE team would also like to extend our deepest thanks to you and the GlobalGiving community for a wonderful 2017. We raised a total of $49,172 from 118 donors, which included $7,520 from recurring donations. Thank you all for an incredible year! 

Oct 30, 2017

Against all odds, Sweeta became a midwife


There is no one reason why girls miss years of school in Afghanistan. Some get married young. Some flee war for safety in Iran. Some have to work to support their families. Some simply do not live close enough to a school for girls. More often than not, the reason is a combination of circumstances.

Sweeta, an AAE graduate from Kabul, got married when she was young. She had to stay home and care for her children, so she missed school for ten years. However, she always dreamed of finishing school and having a career. When she learned about AAE’s accelerated education program that takes students of all ages, she decided to go back to school. After she graduated, Sweeta studied midwifery. Today, she’s a midwife at a government hospital in Kabul.

Click here to view a video of Sweeta’s story.

Without AAE, Sweeta could have kept wishing forever—without the opportunity to actualize her dreams. Our goal is to help girls and women like Sweeta finish their education, no matter their circumstances. We’re there every step of the way to make sure they have the support they need. Even after graduation, the AAE team helps students make smart career choices and continue to university. AAE graduates even meet to mentor and support each other. Right now, we’re training graduates to work in the AAE office as office managers, executive assistants, and human resource officers.

Your donations helped Sweeta become the midwife she always wanted to be, which in turn will give her children the educational and financial support they need to succeed. One by one, educated women are bringing peace to Afghanistan.

The holidays are coming soon, including Giving Tuesday on November 28, and we hope you’ll include our brave students in your year-end giving plans. GlobalGiving is continuing to offer a match on donations to AAE through the Safer World Fund, which supports organizations like ours working for peace in Afghanistan. Additionally, there is a $75,000 incentive fund which will be divided up proportionally among all donations on Giving Tuesday, November 28.

These matching funds, combined with your donations, mean we can continue to help women of all ages achieve their dreams— no matter why, or how long, they missed school.

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