Afghans are the world's largest refugee population. With you help, CHI and AIL are able to offer vital education and health care to Afghan women and children who are not able to return home because of ongoing unrest, lack of economic opportunity, and devastated infrastructure in Afghanistan. Many refugees' homes and livelihoods have been destroyed during the last quarter century of war and civil strife in Afghanistan. CHI and AIL’s programs for refugees are giving them hope for a better, more prosperous future. CHI and AIL support schools for Afghan refugee children and offer literacy, enrichment, and income generating skills classes for women. CHI and AIL also offer health services to women and children through a clinic and mobile clinic in the camps. Health services include examinations, vaccinations, prescriptions, and health education. During May of 2004, CHI and AIL offered health education to 1,380 women.
WLC classes in tailoring, bead knitting, psychology, English, calligraphy, Dari, Pushto, math, health, literacy, and Arabic are offered. Leadership, human rights, traditional birth attendant, and teacher training are also offered. During May of 2004, CHI and AIL offered these classes to over 1,300 women through at Women’s Learning Center locations. One of AIL’s literacy students said: "It was one of my utmost desires to be a literate person. I love to read and write. Now I am able to read and write. I am so happy. I am very much thankful to AIL and to my teachers who help us with full patience. I would like to be a literacy teacher in future. I would love to help my people to be able to read and write. Only some one like me can realize the joy of being literate."
During 2003, CHI and AIL supported 14 schools for over 12,000 Afghan refugee students in Pakistan. AIL provides student scholarships, materials, supplies, regular supervision, monitoring, salaries and training for teachers and administrators through its school support program.
AIL staff at the Pakistan WLCs have also developed a new, quarterly Farsi-language magazine for AIL students, staff, and the general public. This magazine contains contributions from people all over Afghanistan and publishes information about current issues, literature, poems, AIL programs and schools, jokes, health tips, interesting math questions, and interviews with top students. Two issues of this magazine, called Voice of Education, have already been published. AIL staff also work to develop new classes, lesson plans, and training opportunities for Afghan children, adults, and professionals. During the last 18 months, they have developed traditional birth attendant training, numerous university lesson plans, and 8 new health and education workshops.