Save Rural Afghan Women & Children With Healthcare

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Women receiving health education
Women receiving health education

AIL continues to provide much needed healthcare and health education to thousands of needy Afghans who have few if any other medical options. Basic medical care at the early stages of a problem makes all the difference and a small amount of health education creates huge change in behavior and health situations. The latter is evidenced by AIL’s innovative Expectant Mother Health Program where women receive information on safe pregnancy and childbirth in an afternoon session. 100% of  those pregnant women who attended this workshop went on to choose to have their babies at a clinic in safe circumstances going against the cultural norm of home delivery without help.

During the course of a year, month to month patient numbers can vary due to security, weather or transport issues. In the last few months AIL treated an average of over 10,000 patients per month at its 4 fixed clinics, mobile clinics and through its Community Health Worker (CHWs) program. In the same time period, AIL has given health education to over 16,000 per month through its clinics and CHWs and workshop offerings. AIL provides comprehensive health care including  routine care, first aid, nutrition programs, reproductive health care and vaccinations. The nutrition program in the last four months assessed 3,609 children for nutritional status and treated 503 for malnutrition. This is one woman’s story:

My name is BiBi Gul. I have 3 children who are 1, 2 and 3 years old. They were so weak.  I was very hopeless and fed up with life.  One day my husband said there was a clinic in Shaikhan and to go and visit them; it has very kind and professional doctors. The clinic is so far from us;  it is about 2 hours away from my house to the clinic. I came and visited the doctors and midwife and told them about my problem. After visiting they told me that your children are affected by malnutrition.   The reason was that I didn’t follow child spacing and my breast feeding was not sufficient for my babies, so they got malnutrition.  The doctor referred my children to the nutrition section.  My children were under treatment, every week and  they have been checked and monitored regularly and received nutritious food and put on weight.  After 3 month, two of them were able to walk. Now I am so happy, and,  after 3 years child spacing, I now have a new born child who is normal and well nourished. I am thankful from the doctors. Now lots of people visit this clinic from our area.”

Thank you for your interest and support.

Great News: This project has been selected to be part of the Safer World Fund Matching Campaign, meaning that all donations to this project will be matched at 50%, up to a maximum of $2,000. We hope that you will help us take advantage of this great opportunity! 

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi receiving her hood at Princeton
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi receiving her hood at Princeton

So many wonderful things have happened for the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in the last few weeks, and we’re very excited to share a few of them with you. 

First, on Tuesday the Executive Director of AIL, Sakena Yacoobi received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Princeton University. The official citation reads: 

With a profound reverence for the well-being of others, this visionary leader devotes her life to the empowerment of poor Afghan women and children. With an unwavering commitment to social justice, against all odds, and often at great personal risk, she built and sustains an institute that makes healthcare and education possible for the most vulnerable. It owes its success in establishing clinics, teaching children, and training educators and caregivers to the deep and lasting ties she has forged with the people she serves and with global communities of care. After decades of work, she is still creating hope, in her home country and throughout the world. 

Additionally, AIL has had two articles posted at The Huffington Post. The first focuses on AIL’s belief that Education Is the Way to a Healthier Country

The second article details AIL’s Mobile Literacy Program, giving details of how adding texting to a traditional literacy curriculum helped to accelerate the pace of learning. 

Finally, tomorrow is a Global Giving Matching Day, and because AIL is a superstar partner, all donations will be matched at 50%! Matching will begin at 9:00 am EST and funds generally run out after just a few hours.To select a project that you might like to donate to, visit AIL’s page on GlobalGiving


Women's Networking Movement

The Afghan Institute of Learning is very excited to have been given the opportunity to blog at Huffington Post! Our first blog about the Women’s Networking Movement taking place in some of AIL’s centers has been posted. The Women’s Networking Movement is taking place in about 30 of AIL’s centers, schools and clinics. The women coming to these centers are sharing thoughts and ideas in ways that have not been possible until recently. 

To learn more about the Women’s Networking Movement, check out our blog at Huffington Post

Creating Hope International, AIL’s partner, has set up a Facebook page where we will be sharing more news, pictures and information about AIL’s programs. Make sure that you ‘Like’ Creating Hope International on Facebook to get all the latest news! 


Doctor and Patient
Doctor and Patient

We are very grateful for the support we have received for our health project. There are signs that overall access to healthcare is improving in Afghanistan but there is still a long way to go. There are too many communities and people who have little access to quality healthcare. This can be tragic on the personal scale with illness going from treatable to critical before care is sought and often too late to be effective. The drain on society of cyclical ill health is immense. People cannot be productive when they are dragged down by illness and mental wellbeing suffers as well leading to hopelessness.

AIL’s health program continues to be critical in the areas where there are clinics or Community Health Worker (CHW) posts supported by AIL. Since the last update in August 2012, AIL has treated at its clinics over 55,000 patients and given health education at clinics to over 44,000. The CHW program visited over 15,000 families.

Here is a story of one woman’s experience of using an AIL clinic:

My name is Zewar and I am 40 years old. I am illiterate. I have been coming to the clinic for 3 years. The clinic is about 150m from my house so I am able to walk here. There are 8 people living in my house, my husband myself and our 6 children. My father also attends this clinic. There used to be no clinic in our area so I was very happy when I was able to come to this AIL clinic. It has helped me resolve many health problems. 

 I expected the services to be limited, so I was surprised when I first visited that there were many sections to the clinic including pharmacy, OPD, vaccination, Malnutrition, health education and family planning. I heard that the clinic was free and was set up by an Afghan woman. I first came to the clinic because I have asthma. I have made friends through visiting the clinic so it has been a social experience and have received health education as well as treatment. The staff answers all my questions. 

The clinic means a lot to me because I take care of my family, my children and follow the family planning and vaccination plans.  I have taught my family about hygiene and that we must wash food, do cleaning and other household care because I was taught this at the clinic. I now wash vegetables with salt and we know about water sanitation and about taking care of our health. The clinic deals with all our health care needs and we go as soon as we are ill and we recommend the clinic to friends. The clinic follows Ministry of Public Health standards and has qualified doctors, good quality medicines and standard policies (BPHS).The one thing I would say is that we need more medicine for patients as people come from other districts too and want the quality medicine this clinic has.

The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and Creating Hope International (CHI) would like to wish you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons.  As you celebrate with those you love, please take a moment to look at CHI’s yearly newsletter, which we’ve attached to this report. As you will see, 2012 has been a transformative year for AIL and CHI. After years of working tirelessly to provide education, training and healthcare to Afghans, we are beginning to see a real change. The minds of those AIL works with are being opened to the possibility of a peaceful Afghan society. 

AIL is in the process of finalizing a 5 year funding plan, which will be put into place beginning in 2013. We are looking forward to sharing the details of this plan with you soon, and hope that you will find it in your heart to give generously to help us reach our goal. The people of Afghanistan are making great strides, but our work is not done yet. Instead of backing down, we need to push ahead and continue to give Afghans the tools they need to create a more peaceful country. We are hoping that we can count on you to help continue our work.

The women are beginning to see that through education they can have a better life, and are insisting on educating their children. They are taking charge of their health, and we are seeing more and more women requesting workshops on pre-natal issues as well as reproductive health. AIL is encouraged to see so many Afghan women looking forward to a brighter future and is planning to be there to help the women lead the way to the Afghanistan of their dreams. 


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$90,659 raised of $98,000 goal
1,392 donations
$7,341 to go
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