Fast-Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls

by Afghan Institute of Learning

This project has been so very successful thanks to all of you!   Since this project was initiated in 2005, and because the project is on-going, periodically, we have had to periodically adjust our budget and, as you have likely noticed, have done so again.
The Afghan Institute of Learning receives many grants toward its Fast-Tracking Educational Programs.  Overall, each year, AIL now spends approximately $400,000.00 on these programs alone.  The portion that we seek through Global Giving is an amount equal to our expected shortfall for each calendar year.  We expect that amount to be approximately $50,000.00 over the next 12 months and for that reason, have again raised the amount we are requesting from donors to our project.  We invite you to look at our overall budget for this program since 2005 and our budget for the next 12 months.

We recently received a sampling study from the AIL Office in Herat, which shows how well the Learning Center fast-tracking model is working.  26 literacy students from second through sixth levels at the Darb-e-Iraq Learning Center were given a test at the local public schools to evaluate what grade they would be placed in at the public school.  Each and every student tested out higher than the current grade they were studying in. 

This program is working!!!

Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.

Since 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has been helping Afghans lift themselves above the devastation of war by providing education, training, health care, and health education.  AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs, like building blocks that together form a whole structure.  While delivering these basic services AIL has also been able to promote critical thinking skills and model and teach human rights, women’s rights, peace, democracy, and leadership. With new skills and information, Afghans are becoming empowered and hopeful. Through your financial support, you have been a part of these seeds of systemic change.

 Through the natural progression that exists when people begin to think for themselves, AIL often receives requests from Afghans who want to find ways to work together to promote love, understanding, and forgiveness to their people in order to return to a peaceful way of life; the way of their country’s history.  Supported by Fetzer Institute,  AIL is responding to these requests by holding an International Conference on Love and Forgiveness this Spring that will be shared throughout the country and internationally via film.  This conference will focus on the study of Afghan poets and musicians, particularly the work of Mawlana (Rumi).  Participating in the conference will be poets, writers, Sufis and government representatives from all parts of Afghanistan and the world.

 Joining the Conference, in person, or via film or writings, are:

  • Poet Coleman Barks; known as the pre-eminent translator of Rumi, the great 13th century poet and teacher.  Mr. Barks’ writings and translations have filled 15 books that are more popular than other renderings of these ancient words.  They make Rumi’s raptures accessible to the world beyond their creation.
  • Stephen Olsson, President of CEM Productions, has produced and directed documentary films, television series and feature news reports throughout the world for US and European broadcasters.  He also produced and directed: Afghanistan: The Fight For A Way of Life, which was broadcast throughout the world and cited by The New York Times as one of the best documentary films of the year.
  • Divine Mother Audrey Kitagawa, a former attorney, practiced in Honolulu for twenty years, and became the spiritual leader of The Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, a worldwide community based in Hawaii. Divine Mother Audrey is a prolific writer on matters of spirituality and multiculturalism and serves on many global, spiritual and UN advisory boards, including as Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

AIL invites you to join Afghans in thought and through your own study of music and poetry that brings us all closer to the peaceful world we endeavor to achieve.

During the last four months of 2011, four additional Learning Centers were added  by the Afghan Institute of Learning.  Three of these Centers are in the Herat Province, and one is in Kabul.  Each of these Centers offers fast-track classes to women and girls.  Enrollment at each of these centers has increased since their opening.  For example, at one in Herat, it opened in September with 114 students, but now has 185.  It is because of your generous support that these women are able to pursue an education. 

 Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match.  The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted.  So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of Global Giving, give early on March 14th.  Thank you!

So many women and girls lives are being changed by the fast track classes that the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) offers in its learning centers.  This year alone we had 10,577 students in our  fast track  classes and 7,494 of them were women and girls. 

So much has changed since we started our fast track classes for women and girls in 2002 in Afghanistan.  Then women wanted to learn to read and write and to learn tailoring and other skills.  Women are still coming to us for those classes but those who have become literate are now asking for much more.  They are studying English,  learning how to use computers and communicating with others around the world through the internet.  They are asking for other classes that enrich their lives such as painting, calligraphy, drawing and miniature painting.  They want to learn more about such subjects as math and physics. And, because they are now educated and are finding their voices, they are asking for leadership workshops so that they can be active in the communities where they live. When students ask, AIL finds a teacher and starts a class.  The women and girls are still studying at their own pace but, thanks to you, they are building on what they have learned and expanding their knowledge and skills.  Most importantly, they are using what they have learned to make positive changes in their families and in their communities.

Thank you for all of your donations throughout the years!!! 

And, if you or your family and friends are giving to us this December, remember that your gift will still receive 50% matching funds from the Safer World Fund.


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$259,266 raised of $295,000 goal
3,775 donations
$35,734 to go
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