Help Afghan Boys Trade Guns for Books

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Dear Friends,

Today is #GivingTuesday! $500,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on GlobalGiving. 

50% match up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization while funds last. In addition, new recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday. Hurry up and donate!..Read our report below.

Reading has fallen out of favor in Afghan society in recent times with the stressful circumstances of war torn country. AIL promotes reading by setting up its own libraries, supporting other libraries such as at the Citadel historical site and publishing reading materials.

Recently AIL staff took another approach to encourage reading but holding a book reading contest. Staff gathered some experts to review reading options and together they chose a book about the Prophet Mohammed. This book was chosen for its length, complexity and content and as it would appeal to all ages. Students from 6 institutions took part including 2 of Dr. Yacoobi’s private schools, 3 AIL Learning Centers and an unaffiliated school.

There were 1,000 participants (ages between 10 and 25) who were given the book and a questionnaire which they filled out. Sixty got all the answers right and received recognition and prizes and 3 were chosen by lottery for special prizes. Many parents also participated reading the book too so it was a family undertaking. The awards were handed out at a special gathering attended by 200 people. The circus performers from the Yacoobi school put on a show orientated round reading and there were speeches about the importance of reading and of buying books.

One student said ''I study at the High School in my village in the sixth class and am 11 years old. I had never thought to read other books beside my school books because we are poor, but I was very interested in reading books. This contest awakened the motivation in my mind and made me more interested in reading books. When this contest was announced, I took part and with the help of my parents I could answer the questions. Now I am a winner of the contest. Fortunately our school now has a library, and I can borrow books from there, return them and get another one."

AIL works to open people’s minds and in this case, rediscover the value of reading and attention to literature in this fast paced, screen centered world of today.

Thanks for your continued interest.

Dear Friends,

Boys are keen to learn computing both because it is interesting but also because it is a marketable skill for when they seek work. In the month of June in Herat Learning Centers, 387 students are studying computing, including 193 males. In the Kabul Province and other provinces there were 169 computer students including 87 males in 3 centers where the classes were male only. One of these classes is in Wardak Province which has a lot of security issues so the fact that the class is running is remarkable. Two of the Kabul classes are a combined English and computing 6 month course which is highly sort after.

Here is an inspiring story from one computing  student, “This student used to live in a village with family and although the parents were not educated people, they encouraged their children to study. In their village there was a school which was not of a high standard and the teachers were not experienced. So the parents wanted their child to study in the city school even though they were poor. The student started studying in the city school in order get a good education and become a highly capable person. After school the student attended AIL’s English and computer class. After graduating from school this student went back to the village and opened a learning center and started teaching English and computing to earn a living and to help change the lives of youth in the community.” 

What a difference good education makes in a life! Not only education but opportunity to learn modern marketable skills. Thank you for contributing to our work helping equip boys with skills they can use to make a better life for themselves and their communities.

Your support changes lives. Thank you.

Dear Friends, 

TODAY June 15TH -9:00am ET TO 11:59pm! 50% Matching funds available for donations made to AIL projects on! Donations up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization may be matched while funds available. The money runs out fast- so donate now!

Are you a UK donor? has its own bonus day. Donations up to £1,000 per donor per organization may be matched 50% while funds last. Match starts 14:00:01 BST on June 15th and ends at 4:59:59 BST on June 16th.  

AIL update

The AIL education program is going well and classes are being held at 43 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A diverse range of subjects are offered including: math, literacy, Arabic, English, sewing, miniature painting, computers and physics. So far 13,888 students (including 9,044 females and 4,844 males) participated in Learning Center education. There are 150 females in 4 month long mobile literacy classes. AIL staff maintain libraries in many LCs to help students with their studies and expose them to as varied a selection of reading matter as possible. Here is a typical story from one center, “We could solve the family problem of two students this month.  One of them is a young woman; her husband is an opium user. He didn’t let his wife join the center.  But we talked with them and were able to get his agreement. After a lot of talk and face to face contact of the center’s manager and elders of the area he did agree with her.  Now the woman is learning in our center. She is very happy about this and thanked AIL staff for changing her life.”  This story reflects the growing problem of opium addiction in the male population and its devastating consequences on both the men and the female members of their families. AIL's education program gives boys hope for the future and skills that they can use for work.

AIL also conducts trainings during the year including teacher training. So far in 2016, 398 teachers (234 female and 164 male) have undergone training in modern methods of teaching. 701 (341 female and 360 male) have been to trainings on other subjects such as leadership, health, violence, tax, administration, IT and computers. The AIL emergency aid program is currently maintaining its supplies ready for an emergency situation, be it natural or manmade. AIL’s legal clinic continues to see women helping them with issues such as marriage, property disputes, custody or business matters. 30 women aged between 17 and 56 were helped with their legal concerns in April. This year AIL’s health program has provided 79,048 patients with health treatment and 50,433 patients have participated in some form of health education. 

TODAY, your donation can go further!  Donate between 9:00am and 11:59pm and help AIL continue its valuable work providing education to men and boys.

Dear Friends,

AIL has an emphasis on educating females but has always provided educational opportunity to boys and men through its network of Learning Centers. AIL has 3 LCs that have male students only. One of them is at a Boys Orphanage in Herat. There are 50 students who attend classes in English, Literacy and Arabic.

These boys are some of the most vulnerable youth who don’t have families or the families are unable to care for them. In addition to their care and well-being, the boys are also taught gardening which is a skill useful for gaining employment later on. The boys are now safe and in a safe and educational environment where they can grow in knowledge and confidence enabling them to go out and make their way in the world.

“I am Mahmood and I am 16 years old and have been living in the Boys Orphanage for 4 years.  I am disabled as one of my hands, my foot and my tongue have palsy. I felt useless and hopeless.  When I was living with my parents, they were fighting with each other because of the living problems and my disability. My father was always repressing my mother because of me and never sympathetic about her pain. He was always thinking that it is my mother's fault that I was born disabled. Finally, my parents got divorced, and I couldn't do anything. My father was left alone, and he did not know whether to work or to look after me.  He kept me locked in a room at home and was gone to work. When he was back home, I was crying and my father was becoming angrier and didn't know what to do.

With the help of the AIL office I was transferred to the orphanage. I wasn't familiar with the orphanage environment but from the other side I was very happy that I was freed from the room that I was locked in. I was included in a new environment but was unable to walk and faced with many problems. I was falling down and it was hard for me to stand up again, and others were making fun of me. An AIL staff member came to the orphanage and when they asked how I was, I said I wanted to register for the English class and he agreed. I was now part of the English class and continued my lessons. It was later that other boys were influenced by the advice of teachers and others and they changed their behavior to me and became friends with me. My life is completely changed now positively.” 

We are thankful for your continued support for Afghan boys.

Dear Friends, 

Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on Global Giving. 

TODAY ONLY 9am ET to midnight March 16th! Donate anytime within these hours, up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization.

Here are links to our projects on Global Giving: CHI projects and AIL projects.

All donations are final.  The match is pro-rated so we will know the percentage of match at the end of the day, but everyone gets some matching funds from a pot of $75,000.

Special Alert!!  Two of our projects are eligible for 2 different matching funds TODAY! 

Donations to these two projects get a 50% match under the Safer World Fund AND a  match on this March 16th Bonus Day!! Check the SWF leaderboard! SWF allows matching by unique donors up to $1,500 per donor per project with project max of $15,000 in matching. 

1073 Save Rural Afghan Women and Children with Healthcare

1155 Fast Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls 

AIL has started the year 2016 with a full roster of education classes in many subjects as diverse as, literacy, English, carpet weaving, computers and physics. In the month of January, there were 9,682 students (6,132 female) in classes at 42 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and 1 LC in Pakistan.  The health program has provided 19,226           patients with treatment and given health education to 11,854 people. Here is a story:

“My name is Somayeah and my twin sister is Masomah. We live in a poor family and we are both interested in learning, but we always missed the chance to study because people were laughing at us. Fortunately AIL’s teachers promoted self-confidence and self-esteem in us with great advice. Now we are happy and no longer ashamed. Our minds changed since attending AIL’s literacy and sewing classes. We also found out about the dignity of women in the community and we are proud to be twins. We also made very good educational decisions about our future.” 

Your donation will help AIL continue its valuable work providing education and healthcare, emergency relief and legal aid to poor Afghans. 

Thank you.


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Dearborn, Michigan United States

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