Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls
Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls

Recent Developments in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been stunned by recent developments and people are adapting as best they can, to a new situation which remains both unclear and uncertain as to the future.  AIL’s current priority is to provide urgently needed assistance to the thousands of displaced families who have flooded into Kabul and Herat. Some of our Learning Centers provide a staging point for aid. Our clinics have expanded their capacity to cope with the large numbers of refugees that are in the area.. Our staff are all working, though offices currently are men only with women working from home.

The centers are all female and await instructions from the Taliban with regard to procedures required for reopening centers to our students. As our fast track classes are run outside of normal schools, and they cater to women and girls not normally found in school classes, these classes have always been held in our Women’s Learning Centers. The unfortunate closure of our centers means these classes are not being held as of now. 

The Yacoobi private schools are open and operating under the rules that have been given such as dividing male and female. It is exam season and students are studying hard and sitting their exams as usual. It is a great credit to them and their teachers as everyone has heightened levels of fear, stress and anxiety. The private TV and Radio Meraj are not broadcasting but awaiting instructions in how to recommence and staff are creating content and archiving materials for broadcast at a later date.

We have been touched by the outreach of support and outpouring of donations to help the Afghan people. We thank you for standing by Afghanistan as it faces another humanitarian crisis on top of Covid-19 and drought. 

Update on Fast-track classes

Fast track classes were introduces to cater to those students who joined courses with some knowledge and those who were able to progress more quickly than their peers. One of the most popular fast-track classes is literacy. AIL has 7 levels of literacy class as well as the fast track mobile literacy class. Literacy is the gateway to other learning and is often the first and most popular class students want to join. In the first half of 2021, Kabul and Herat Learning Centers had 2,516 students studying at various levels of literacy. Computing classes were attended by 583 students and English had 2,409 students. 

Thank you for your support.

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The Fast-track program is a vital resource for women, especially those in rural Afghanistan. The Learning Centers that hold the Fast-track program stretch across 16 provinces. AIL provides training in human rights, women’s rights, leadership, peace, democracy, good citizenship and other capacity building topics. Leadership training is transformative. If there are female leaders in society, the violence decreases dramatically, because women can solve problems without using weapons and violence.

The students in fast track classes gain leadership skills along with following their class curriculum which means for example, tailoring students feel able to set up a business, English class students confidently attend interviews and gain jobs. AIL’s leadership training takes place in two ways.  AIL holds in-depth leadership workshops and also integrates the teaching of leadership into every workshop and every class in AIL centers. So far in 2021, 122 people have attended leadership workshops. AIL also supports a special 2 year leadership course for 30 students at the Yacoobi high schools. Leadership workshops include topics such as what makes a good leader, management, listening skills, self- confidence, public- speaking, building good relationships, politics, democracy and peace.

In part, AIL’s Leadership training seeks to help participants understand that anyone can be a leader and to enhance the participants’ ability to take a variety of leadership roles in their community which demonstrate democratic core values of liberty- personal, political, economic freedom, common good, justice and equality. Based on feedback from participants, AIL has long known that its leadership training have resulted in the participants taking leadership roles that were new to them following the workshop. 

Thank you for your support.

Covid-19: AIL continues with its relief efforts providing food aid, PPE and running a Covid-19 hospital. All health clinics are operating and Learning Centers and schools are holding classes. Radio Meraj continues to broadcast the latest Covid-19 information.

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One of the popular classes at centers is computing. Students kept up with their studies both in the classroom and at home during the year. In one month, there were 1,432 computer students across the 48 centers in 8 provinces including Kabul and Herat.  Computing and English are important as they provide the opportunity for employment.

Tailoring is another income generating skills and in one month there were 1,987 students studying this course. Women go on to make clothes for their families and start small businesses sewing for others, some also become sewing teachers.

“My name is Nafisa. I am 29-years-old and have 3 children and unfortunately, my husband died in an accident. After this we suffered so many economic and social problems. In that situation I could not fulfill the basic need of food for my children. During quarantine days I was able to use my sewing skills and earn some money from my customers to provide for my children. It made all the difference!” 

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AIL has risen to the challenge of Covid-19 and kept its programs running during the pandemic. Education was provided online and through education packs delivered to students.

Dr. Yacoobi said, “ I am so proud of my staff who have kept AIL running through the pandemic with adapted programs AND produced PPE for ministries and hospitals- 14,000 face shields, 13,000 masks, 400 other items AND opened a 50 bed Covid-19 hospital AND provided food aid and counseling AND provided covid information through Radio Meraj!”

 We are glad to say that centers and schools are now open under strict social distancing and sanitation rules. Students are delighted to be back especially the children who missed their friends, teachers and the structure of classroom life.

In August, one of our Herat centers reported these activities: made 400 masks and 13 sets of PPE clothing, map of Afghanistan sewn onto a carpet, prepared Covid-19 awareness clips, planted plants for inside the center and the carpet weaving class completed projects and started new ones.

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

Our projects 1155 Fast Track Education and 1073 Healthcare are eligible for the Safer World Fund 50% on donations right now!

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Thank you to all of you who donated in World Refugee Week. You did it!  You helped us reach our target and gain the extra $750 in bonus funds for this project.

The challenge is on - to try and gain bonus prizes! Can you help us compete for the $50,000 in bonus prizes? The more people who donate ,the more funds we raise, the greater our chance of gaining a prize

Covid-19 has created a great many difficulties in Afghanistan, especially because it is a poor country and has fragile health and education systems. AIL has had to close its Learning Centers but staff worked hard to adapt its education program to online, distance learning. Students have been provided with education packs and have access to a teacher by email, a hotline and in person if necessary.

It is vital that students continue their learning and do not lose heart.  “It takes time and patience to gain acceptance for girls’ education, especially in rural areas. I am concerned that we do not lose the ground we have gained,” says Dr. Yacoobi.

Quarantine has increased the sense of isolation that many women feel and is pushing girls into more household chores and we fear families will not look to return their girls to class and there will be a consequential rise in child marriage. The stress of the health and economic situation is causing a rise in family disputes and violence against women.  The education packs give girls a focus and a hope that they will return to school or an AIL center for classes in the near future.

AIL has been able to repurpose its tailoring classrooms at many sites, to the production of personal protective equipment. Teachers and tailoring course graduates are producing gowns and masks while other staff are joining in and helping to make face shields. These items are being used in AIL health clinics and being donated to the government for use in other cities.

Your support is vital in helping us maintain our distance learning program. 

AIL is working towards: SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$489,944 raised of $500,000 goal
6,057 donations
$10,056 to go
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