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:
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.
Just an update on our Expectant Mother Program. The results from the program for 2011 are in and we are ecstatic! Of the 118 pregnant women in the program, exactly half, 59, had delivered by the end of the year. Of those, only one chose to have a home birth and the other 58 had clinic births. There were no stillborn and no complications for any of these mothers. These statistics are phenomenal and we couldn’t be more pleased! The other 59 women in the program are still being followed by the AIL staff and we hope to have more good news in upcoming reports.
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 GlobalGiving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
In addition to the rural clinics operated by the Afghan Institute of Learning, there are CHW’s (Community Health Workers) working in the rural villages of Herat and Kabul. More than 65,000 families were visited by these CHW’s between January and November of this year. The CHWs are able to offer health education, first aid, and assist in prenatal and postnatal care and deliveries. They can also offer health assessments and refer patients to clinics when the illness or wound is more than they can take care of.
All of the health aspects of AIL’s programs have steadily increased over the years. More and more patients are being seen and treated and AIL intends to continue and expand its services.
Thank you to all of you who supported these efforts.
From January through August of this year, the Afghan Institute of Learning has held 10 separate, five day Seminars on Reproductive Health. The total number of women who have attended these seminars is 333. The participants vary. Some are housewives, students, teachers, and government workers. Many of the participants are illiterate and the program is adapted to be very easy to understand using pictures, oral instruction and by having the attendees actively participate with question and answer and hands-on activities.
The women are informed of all aspects of pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, child spacing and how to keep themselves healthy before, during and after a pregnancy. Parisa, one of the participants said, “This workshop can prevent the mortality of women and their children. Women receive enough information about all of the issues of delivery and reproductive health and we can carry this information to others, especially our families. Now I can provide reasons to others why it is better to deliver in a clinic or hospital instead of at home.”
Another AIL Project, “Transform Lives of 70,000 Afghan Adolescent Girls” has been chosen to be part of the Girl Effect Challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 15, 2011. Approximately 60 projects have been included in this challenge. The top six projects with the highest number of unique donations will become part of the Girl Effect Fund for one year and each is expected to earn an additional $25,000. Please check out our project #8791, and thank you for your generous support of our programs!
A recent report by “Save the Children” listed Afghanistan as the worst place to be a woman. One reason for this was the very high mortality rate. According to that report, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 11, and the life expectancy of a female in Afghanistan is 45.
AIL continues to reach more people, especially women, through their health education programs. Subjects taught include women’s health, violence against women, reproductive health, first aid, self-immolation, family planning, vaccinations, nutrition and other topics requested by participants.
Additionally, AIL began a pilot program for Expectant Mothers in November, 2010. We are beginning to see the results of this program, and they are very positive. Since the Expectant Mother program workshops started in November 2010:
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