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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

Sweeta
Sweeta

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.

Aug 1, 2017

Ninety-six peacemakers graduate in Kabul

Massouma and her son
Massouma and her son

Last week in Kabul, we celebrated our favorite time of the year: graduation! Ninety-six students of all ages received their state-certified diplomas in a joyful ceremony joined by family, friends, AAE staff, teachers, and government officials. We even streamed graduation on Facebook Live for the first time!

Graduating student Massouma’s son was perhaps the youngest attendee at just fifty days old. During the ceremony, Massouma held him in one hand and her diploma in the other.

Massouma’s life leading up to graduation was not easy. During the years of war, she and her family fled to Iran as refugees. They returned to Kabul after eight long years. Twenty-year-old Massouma tried to enroll in public schools, but none would take her because of her age. As a result, she turned to AAE and enrolled in sixth grade. Her husband, an electrician, encouraged her to study. While she can’t afford to study at university just yet, Massouma dreams of becoming a midwife to improve the health of women and children in Afghanistan.  

Massouma isn’t the only AAE student reveling in success. Amina, a 28-year-old widow, former child bride, 10th-grade-student, and mother of four shared her story with UNICEF Afghanistan on their blog. After her husband’s death and a struggle with her in-laws, Amina fought for custody of her children for seven stressful years. She heard about AAE while working at a kindergarten. So, at 25 years old, Amina enrolled in sixth grade at AAE’s school in the Parwandoo area of Kabul.

“It was very difficult to start but my teachers and other classmates made it possible by helping me. I love all subjects. I like it that most of my classmates are close to my age. They give me confidence and encouragement,” said Amina. “If not for this program, I don’t know what would have happened to me and my daughters. It was always my dream to return to school one day.”

Like Massouma, Amina has high hopes for her children. “I want to work hard to make money and provide for my daughters. I want to make sure they will have good education and successful lives. I don’t want them to get married young.” Amina was taken out of school by her family at age 12 and was married by the time she was 14 years old.

Thank you for all of your continued support throughout the years as AAE grows. With your help, more than 1,900 students have graduated from 12 schools in six provinces across Afghanistan. All of us – current students, graduates, AAE staff, and you – are working hard to foster peace in Afghanistan. Now, as we are in between grant funding, we need your help more than ever to keep our doors open. We hope you’ll consider sponsoring a student today to make sure students like Massouma and Amina graduate from high school and bring education, economic prosperity, and peace to their communities.

Amina with her classmates
Amina with her classmates
Celebrating graduation!
Celebrating graduation!
Hassina Sherjan awarding diplomas
Hassina Sherjan awarding diplomas
Student speaker at graduation
Student speaker at graduation

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