AIL’s clinics are often rural Afghan women’s only option for healthcare. A doctor in one of AIL’s clinics reports, “After coming into the clinic I began speaking with the patients waiting and noticed one woman who was sick with a different illness than the rest. I asked her what was wrong, and after a detailed explanation I examined her carefully and sent her to the laboratory for tests. After the tests, she came back to my office where I was able to recheck her. During the recheck I spoke with the woman about her living conditions, and she told me that she was very poor and couldn’t afford to go into the city. She always brings her family to our clinic for help, and is so thankful that she has access to good doctors and services.”
This doctor also reported that the clinic’s nutrition program is having a positive impact on the village. The clinic has trained some villagers on how to properly cook vegetables. This woman was one of those who received this training. She said that she is now able to cook many more nutritious foods for her family, and feels that this clinic ‘is the best clinic to help in our society.’
As part of AIL’s ongoing goal of providing Health Care and Health Education to the Afghan people, they have conducted many workshops already this year. Three Expectant Mother workshops have been held, and all of the pregnant women that attended these workshops will be followed and monitored throughout their pregnancy and for several months after the birth of their child. The results of these workshops are promising. From the final numbers in 2011, there was only one stillborn out of the 37 deliveries, and 1 complication - at a rate of 2.7% compared to the national average of 5.2% according to the Afghan government. There were no maternal deaths compared to the national rate of 1.4% (UNICEF).
AIL has also held two reproductive health workshops and sixty women attended. These women were both housewives and professionals, including 18 teachers who will then be able to pass on the information that they learned.
Other topics that have been covered in the workshop settings this year have included influenza, health, hygiene, and tuberculosis. We know that AIL has many more workshops planned for 2012 in addition to their continuous health education sessions held every day in their clinics.
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.
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.
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