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Updates from programs!
Girls team wins Technovation Challenge with Education App! Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School , Herat has won first place in the girls Technovation Challenge competition creating mobile phone applications. The 5 girl team beat 36 other teams from Afghanistan with their education app Amozgar, that teaches literacy. Sponsored by AIL, they worked on this project for 3 months creating an app with the alphabet with audio and words and sentences. Their message, “With Amozgar we change homes into schools.” The team and their app now move on to the semi- final round of judging with 100 teams from around the world. Six finalists will be picked from this round to compete for the final prize.
Radio Meraj wins more Top Awards in Media in Western Afghanistan! The Afghanistan Institute for Research and Studies held a contest for 161 media outlets. Meraj was permitted to enter 3 categories and won all 3! Meraj won best news package, best analysis and speakers, and best innovative programming. In addition, a photographer working with AIL won the best photography prize for one of his AIL photographs. The competition attracted media outlets from all over the western zone including the well- known stations that have been operating for decades. Meraj’s success is remarkable in that it has been in operation for only two years yet won awards usually associated with stations of 5 plus years of experience. It won the most awards among all the existing media. Radio Meraj is many years ahead of its strategic plan and has gained popular and professional credibility and success making it one of the top three Herat stations. The station operates 20 hours a day reaching 9 out of the 15 districts of Herat.
We are delighted to let you know that an AIL project has been selected as one of only six projects in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund! The project is 921 Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women.
This project will receive one sixth of the donations made during the rest of this year to this special fund! We would not have been selected for this opportunity without the support we received in the month of March from many donors such as yourselves. Great team effort! Thank you!
Computer skills are a popular and necessary part of modern life. AIL has incorporated computing classes into Learning Center schedules whenever possible. There are 8 LCs that offer computer classes in the Herat area. In March, 302 students were enrolled in those computer classes, 155 are female and 147 male. In the Kabul area LCs there are 228 students studying computing.
A Kabul center manager said, “AIL provides great opportunity for Afghan people, you should gain great benefits from this opportunity. In other courses you pay fees and learn, but AIL provides free courses to all people.” One of the students said, “My name is Hewad, I am a student of the computer course. I have finished the Access program and I am now in the 14th grade. After finishing this course I want to be a teacher in one of the schools. I have learned computer programs in a perfect way from this Learning Center. I am thankful for AIL office for providing this opportunity.”
Thank you for supporting computing at centers and the students who benefit from learning this skill.
When a community asks for AIL to set up a Learning Center (LC) it is a requirement that the community are supportive of the idea both theoretically and practically. Only with community involvement will these poor, uneducated people be able to achieve success in learning new skills. Center request what they want and can support, some immediately want modern skills in the program such as computing. Here is the story of how one community supported its center and its people in 2016.
“One of the local people who lives near the center is called Khalil. He has helped the center a lot. The center did not have a telephone line and we had internet problems so Khalil voluntarily gave his house phone line to the center and helped by holding internet classes and seminars and these continue today. Another man named Naser who has a house on the same road has helped too. He offered to put the course’s advertisement board on the roof of his home because it would be seen more easily. The board is still there today. One of the other neighbors allowed the center to use his house's wall as a board and to advertise its programs. Other families gifted useful informative books in Arabic to help students learn the language.
This is truly a community effort! This operational approach is what creates sustainable opportunity for males and females to learn modern world skills such as computing which will help them find work. In 2016, 2,044 students were able to attend computer classes in Kabul LCs. In the month of December, Herat LCs had 304 students continuing their computer studies.
Please read our year end newsletter attached. Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the students who rely on them.
AIL has 43 learning centers in operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Student frequently request training in computer use. In the month of August there were 531 students in Kabul and Herat learning computers. The boys only computer class at MBK has 14 students.
Here is a story from one of their students, “My name is Naveed. I study computers at this Learning Center and now I have started an internet club in this area. This can help my people and also it means I have become independent. In this area there were no internet clubs and when people need internet access they had to go to Kabul city. Now they can use it in their own area. So this is all because of AIL organization that provide us such high quality course in this area.“
This class changed the life of one young man and he went on the change the life of a community creating a link to the outside world and a small business for himself. This skill set helps students with school work and those employed with their work. If you are proficient in computer skills then you have a very marketable skill when looking for a job.
People 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 and 194 females. 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 regarded. All students learn computer functions and popular programs such as Word and Excel.
Here is a story from one student, “I am student in 12thgrade. I had problems in English and computer class. My father didn’t let me join the courses where boys and girls study together so I faced a lot of problems and was searching for a course that I could join. One of my classmates told me about this Learning Center. It is free and all students are female! I talked with my family and they let me join the center. My teacher is so kind and nice I am so happy and thankful to AIL for providing this opportunity to Afghan girls .”
Thank you for contributing to our work helping equip people with skills they can use to make a better life for themselves and their communities.
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