So many wonderful things have happened for the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in the last few weeks, and we’re very excited to share a few of them with you.
First, on Tuesday the Executive Director of AIL, Sakena Yacoobi received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Princeton University. The official citation reads:
With a profound reverence for the well-being of others, this visionary leader devotes her life to the empowerment of poor Afghan women and children. With an unwavering commitment to social justice, against all odds, and often at great personal risk, she built and sustains an institute that makes healthcare and education possible for the most vulnerable. It owes its success in establishing clinics, teaching children, and training educators and caregivers to the deep and lasting ties she has forged with the people she serves and with global communities of care. After decades of work, she is still creating hope, in her home country and throughout the world.
The second article details AIL’s Mobile Literacy Program, giving details of how adding texting to a traditional literacy curriculum helped to accelerate the pace of learning.
Finally, tomorrow is a Global Giving Matching Day, and because AIL is a superstar partner, all donations will be matched at 50%! Matching will begin at 9:00 am EST and funds generally run out after just a few hours.To select a project that you might like to donate to, visit AIL’s page on GlobalGiving.
The Afghan Institute of Learning is very excited to have been given the opportunity to blog at Huffington Post! Our first blog about the Women’s Networking Movement taking place in some of AIL’s centers has been posted. The Women’s Networking Movement is taking place in about 30 of AIL’s centers, schools and clinics. The women coming to these centers are sharing thoughts and ideas in ways that have not been possible until recently.
To learn more about the Women’s Networking Movement, check out our blog at Huffington Post!
Creating Hope International, AIL’s partner, has set up a Facebook page where we will be sharing more news, pictures and information about AIL’s programs. Make sure that you ‘Like’ Creating Hope International on Facebook to get all the latest news!
2013 has thus far been a successful year for Creating Hope International (CHI) and the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Our learning centers are growing and expanding, and the attendance rates for our Herat and Kabul centers are significantly higher than the rates recorded last year. Small communities in rural parts of the country have requested that AIL open centers in their villages, because they see the positive impact these centers have on communities comparable to their own. Changes like these are promising because it shows that perceptions on educating women and girls has transformed to the point where communities are actively requesting that AIL educate their wives and daughters.
We are providing education to a growing number of women and girls of all ages and backgrounds. In January of this year, we brought education to over 7,300 girls in subjects such as literacy, English, Arabic, and computer technology. We have also provided these women and girls with ample opportunities to gain skills in sewing, tailoring, carpet and silk weaving, macramé, and painting. All of these skills open doors for careers and other opportunities to make an income. In addition, our Fast-Track program has opened doors to women and girls by providing them with flexible schedules to learn the basics as fast or as slow as they are able to. We have recently started a mobile literacy course where students can obtain accelerated proficiency in literacy in as little as 4 months. Again, we wish to thank you all for your generosity and compassion in making these hopeful changes possible!
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and Creating Hope International (CHI) would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons. As you celebrate with those you love, please take a moment to look at CHI’s yearly newsletter, which we’ve attached to this report. As you will see, 2012 has been a transformative year for AIL and CHI. After years of working tirelessly to provide education, training and healthcare to Afghans, we are beginning to see a real change. The minds of those AIL works with are being opened to the possibility of a peaceful Afghan society.
AIL is in the process of finalizing a 5 year funding plan, which will be put into place beginning in 2013. We are looking forward to sharing the details of this plan with you soon, and hope that you will find it in your heart to give generously to help us reach our goal. The people of Afghanistan are making great strides, but our work is not done yet. Instead of backing down, we need to push ahead and continue to give Afghans the tools they need to create a more peaceful country. We are hoping that we can count on you to help continue our work.
The women are beginning to see that through education they can have a better life, and are insisting on educating their children. They are taking charge of their health, and we are seeing more and more women requesting workshops on pre-natal issues as well as reproductive health. AIL is encouraged to see so many Afghan women looking forward to a brighter future and is planning to be there to help the women lead the way to the Afghanistan of their dreams.
Finally, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that donations up to $2,000 are being matched at 50% by the Safer World Matching Fund, while funds last. Take this opportunity to make your donation go further this holiday season.
Thank you for all you have contributed towards AIL’s goal of educating the women and children of Afghanistan. While the conditions in Afghanistan are still challenging, AIL is seeing positive changes in the lives of those Afghans that it works with.
Recently the Executive Director of AIL, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi was interviewed and had the following to say about education as a path to peace:
“ I really believe it strongly that education is the key issue, that it will bring peace to Afghanistan, because when people are ignorance, they are fighting, they want to really fight with weapon, and for 30 years we didn't accomplish anything. And day-by-day violence is getting worse and worse. Society ideally believes that we are all human and we are equal, and you look to others as equal and really try to watch for humans rights, women's rights... the right of every individual to have the dignity, to have respect, and when we abuse and don't look for gender equality we discourage people from their right, we discourage people from their value and their ethics, they feel low. And that is not the way to you look to for other human being. Again you go back again to education. The more education people have, the better they could understand that they don't do something to others that they don't want to be done to them.”
“ It’s a right of every child to be educated and from the time of Taliban, many, many children have not been in a school and today we have girls that like 15, 20 years old, they don't know how to read and write, even boys, the same thing. So what we are trying to do, we are trying to constantly work in education because if we accomplish education, that all over Afghanistan education is spread, then I think that our problem and war problem will be solved also because then people have a better understanding about equality, about justice, about right, and they are not going to abuse that.”
Through August 2012, AIL has taught 7,209 women in it’s Centers and Schools in Kabul and Herat Afghanistan, and Peshawar, Pakistan. For many of these women and girls, AIL’s classes are the only chance at obtaining an education.
Don’t forget! The holidays are a great time to share your passion for AIL and the great work that they do! GlobalGiving offers gift certificates which can be used to donate to AIL’s projects. Also, beginning December 1st, the initial donation made by recurring donors will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. There is only $25,000 available in matching funds, so help AIL take advantage of this opportunity early!
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