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Books for Afghan Women and Children

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Books for Afghan Women and Children
Pages from AIL's Magazine
Pages from AIL's Magazine

AIL is continuing its efforts to improve rates of literacy through providing literacy classes but also through providing literature both in book and magazine form and by supporting libraries.

The Citadel Library in Herat, supported by AIL continues to attract people with visitor numbers of around 170-200 in the winter months. One month there were 176 visitors (48 female) with 153 from the university. AIL promotes the art of calligraphy by publishing a book on the subject for use by teachers in schools and learning centers and also by providing a class at the Citadel for 23 male students.

AIL publishes books and magazines and  distributes its  magazines to AIL centers in Heart, Kabul and Peshawar and to schools, in addition to governmental organizations, ministries such as education, information and culture, social affairs, economy, agriculture and to the health sector such as clinics. In 2013 there were two issues of this colorful and well  designed magazine called Nada e Taleem. The magazines cover a wide variety of topics from health, sport, AIL news to elections, poetry, jokes and children’s literature. When someone picks up a magazine it is an opportunity to educate them about many things and to reach people with messages about how they can improve their lives, engage in their communities and know what is going on in the country.

The first magazine print run was for 1,500 copies and included topics such as: teaching methods, poet Jami, mental health for the pregnant woman, vitamins, profiles of active and hardworking women who have helped their communities, social entrepreneurship symposiums offered by AIL, poems about forgiveness and community building, AIL’s work during the year, children’s literature, an article on the economy, young poets and their writing, building of Professor Sakena Yacoobi high school, jokes and humor page, sports, interview with a young author, map of Afghanistan, Nadia Anjoman – young poet and writer a victim of family violence, talented youth photo page.

The second print run included information such as: prayer in daily life, Dr. Yacoobi speech at Festival DD Kosambi in Goa about violence against women, youth participation in democratic process, elections and social entrepreneurship. There was also a letter from Sohaila Erfani, a teacher of literature faculty of Herat, about international conference of love and forgiveness of Mulana held by AIL.  In this article she described the dignity of women in community. Other topics included internet safety practices, AIL activities, celebrating Teachers Day, best poets, Festival of Grapes in Herat. There was an interview with the Director of Department of Women Affairs in Herat. She spoke about conditions of women in Herat, for example, the problems they have and the facilities they are able to use. She thanked AIL for its creative approach and capacity building activities for women.

The health page included information about diseases of the winter season like colds
and diarrhea, new information about vitamin C and describing fruits that
contain the most vitamins and explaining importance of vitamin C for a healthy body. There was also a profile of a well-known poet who has created meaningful poems and an interview with the principal of Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School about placing top in a recent competition among schools in Herat, also stories and fun activities for children and jokes and poems.

Thank you for your interest in AIL’s work in Afghanistan and particularly its efforts to improve literacy.

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Page of AIL's Magazine
Page of AIL's Magazine

Improving rates of literacy is crucial to the development of Afghan society and crucial to individual families as they strive to improve their life circumstances. AIL’s project to provide books is part of its overall literacy program.

The calligraphy book published by AIL has proved very popular with students who have found it useful for learning this historic craft. 1,000 books were distributed to AIL learning centers and 800 books to private and regular schools and 600 books to the Ministry of Education and finally 600 books to AIL Kabul and AIL Pakistan . Here are the comments of one student:

 "My name is Hamidullah and I am a high school student. I had been always ashamed with my handwriting because I didn't know the rules of writing. It was until I found a book that was published, printed and distributed free by AIL. This book really helped me to improve my handwriting.  All rules of calligraphy were explained very clearly by examples and  that was very interesting for me. It is a self-study book so that everybody can learn as fast as possible. My handwriting developed quickly in a few weeks of practice with this book. Now I have very nice hand writing which I had never imagined I could have before. I really enjoy when I write something on the paper with ink or pen. Besides, I learned a lot about calligraphy which  I am proud of. I thank AIL for changing my hand writing."  

The Citadel Library in Herat, supported by AIL continues to attract people with visitor numbers per month remaining in the 350 range.  AIL’s magazine remains an ongoing publication covers a variety of subject matter and most recently included the topics of  education, health, the role of women in change,  peace, democracy, justice, advocacy, ideation, entrepreneurship, cultural issues, social affairs, business, economies, administration, leadership, art and entertainment. These magazines are very popular and passed around frequently. This is another way to provide variety of reading matter to people who have very limited access to printed matter other than the textbooks they use in class.  AIL distributes its  magazines to its centers in Herat, Kabul and Peshawar and to schools, in addition to governmental organizations, ministries such as education, information and culture, social affairs, economy, agriculture and to the health sector such as clinics.

Attached to this update is our year end newsletter. We hope you will take a few moments to look it over. 


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Dear GlobalGiving Donors,

Thank you so much for supporting the Afghan Institute of Learning’s (AIL) various projects on GlobalGiving. Over the years, the Global Giving donors have become invaluable to AIL. Through your generous support, AIL has been able to provide Afghans with education, health care, training and more.

It is your continued support that is now allowing AIL to evolve along with the young people of Afghanistan. We’d like to share with you the story of how one young woman’s life has been changed thanks to one of AIL’s programs:

I am a 19-year-old woman with two children. I had always wanted to go to school and learn to read, but there was not a school close to my home. It was not safe for me to try and travel to another village to go to school, but I always told myself that if I could go to school, I would be able to get a job and reach my goals.

It was painful to me when my brother learned to read and write, but I couldn’t. One day I watched some women and children who were going somewhere. When I saw that one of them was a woman who had an 8-year-old girl with her, I stopped her and said “Excuse me. Where are you going?” She answered, “A learning center has been established for illiterate women and their children recently. I am going to register myself and my children.”

When I heard this, I was so happy and I said to her, “Please wait a minute. I want to go with you and start to take classes too.” I joined them on their way to the learning center. When we arrived, I was so excited because I saw a lot of women there who had been learning.

Now, I can read and write and I can say proudly that I am literate. I have also learned to be healthy and to be a leader. I am reaching out and touching my wishes and goals. I thank AIL for this opportunity to reach my goals.

Thank you for the support that you give to AIL. We are so grateful to all of our supporters for their continued support of our projects on GlobalGiving. Thank you!

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Calligraphy Book
Calligraphy Book

AIL is committed to improving literacy rates in Afghanistan as literacy is the gateway to improving life circumstances and economic opportunity. As part of its literacy drive, AIL provides books to libraries including the Citadel Library in Herat which regularly receives book donations each month. Approximately 300 students and members of the public now use this library each month for research and pleasure

AIL’s printing and publishing operation recently produced 200 invitations which were donated to the local Literary Association and two banners for workshops. AIL in Herat published 3000 copies of a 68 page book for students to use calligraphy. AIL plans  to distribute this book in Kabul and Herat  to teachers and students of regular schools and some will go to AIL Learning Centers.  The Education Department of Herat thanked AIL for producing this book and for pursuing the goal of improving writing.  The Culture and information Department of Herat also praised this effort. Calligraphy is an important historic art in Afghan culture and reviving this helps people to connect with their history and traditions.

During the last few months AIL has been gathering together articles for its magazine which will be published soon and details will appear in the next report.

 Thank you for your continued interest.

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

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, MI United States

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