Books for Afghan Women and Children

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Dear Friends,

AIL supports the Gowhar Shad Library in Herat. This has become a popular and useful resource for people including high school and university students. In 2016, there were 6147 visitors, 3691 female. Here is one story from the librarian:

“On Monday, I opened the library signed the attendance book and arranged the chairs, tables and books. As I sat down behind my desk a  girl entered  the library. She said her name was  Donya from Qazni province and she was in her last year of college. She need to complete a thesis. She needed a safe place to stay for a few days and books from the library. She was researching the period of the Temorian Emperor in Herat.  I guided her to Hotel Nazary to stay and helped her with all the books that she needed. She was able to finish her work after a few days and returned home.

By the end of the year she submitted her thesis and she got the highest score. She called to let us know how happy she was and thankful for our help which made all the difference.

We are very happy and want to help more Afghan girls who are eager to  gain knowledge and need  books. We have books available for them no matter their circumstances. Our job is to help everyone in Afghanistan who needs books and at our library they are all welcome.”

Please read our year end newsletter. Thanks for your support.


Dear Friends,

Today is #GivingTuesday! $500,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on GlobalGiving. 

50% match up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization while funds last. In addition, new recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday. Hurry up and donate!..Read our report below.

AIL received 1,000 songbooks and 200 teacher guides which have been distributed. The books went to kindergarten teachers and students, other teachers and students at the Yacoobi Private High School. AIL has 43 Learning Centers and centers in Herat received 700 books while centers in Kabul got 300 books. The students ranged in age from 5 to 10 years old who were in grades K to 3. 150 teacher guides went to Herat and 50 to Kabul. Teachers received  instructions in how to use the books and had the use of audio equipment.

The children enjoyed the books and practiced reciting the poems with each other. The material was all traditional Afghan verse set in colorful pages. People in Afghanistan are not so used to buying books so receiving a gift like this is a happy event for a child. One child said, “I like this book and the pictures. I like reading out loud what it says.”

Thank you for your support as we work to improve access to literary material for all Afghans.

Dear Friends,

Reading has fallen out of favor in Afghan society in recent times with the stressful circumstances of a war torn country. AIL promotes reading by setting up its own libraries, supporting other libraries such as at the Citadel historical site and by publishing reading materials.

Recently AIL staff took another approach to encourage reading by holding a book reading contest. Staff gathered some experts to review book options and together they chose a book about the Prophet Mohammed. This book was chosen for its length, complexity and content and as it would appeal to all ages. Students from 6 institutions took part including 2 of Dr. Yacoobi’s private schools, 3 AIL Learning Centers and an unaffiliated school.

There were 1,000 participants (ages between 10 and 25) who were given the book and a questionnaire which they filled out. Sixty got all the answers right and received recognition and prizes and 3 were chosen by lottery for special prizes. Many parents also participated reading the book too so it was a family undertaking. The awards were handed out at a special gathering attended by 200 people. The circus performers from the Yacoobi school put on a show orientated round reading and there were speeches about the importance of reading and buying books.

One student said ''I study at  the High School in my village in the sixth class and am 11 years old. I had never thought to read other books beside my school books because we are poor, but I was very interested in reading books. This contest awakened the motivation in my mind and made me more interested in reading books. When this contest was announced, I took part and with the help of my parents I could answer the questions. Now I am a winner of the contest. Fortunately our school now has a library, and I can borrow books from there, return them and get other ones."

AIL works to open people’s minds and in this case, rediscover the value of reading and attention to literature in the fast paced, screen centered world of today.

Thanks for your continued interest.

Dear Friends, 

TODAY June 15TH -9:00am ET TO 11:59pm! 50% Matching funds available for donations made to AIL projects on! Donations up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization may be matched while funds available. The money runs out fast- so donate now!

Are you a UK donor? has its own bonus day. Donations up to £1,000 per donor per organization may be matched 50% while funds last. Match starts 14:00:01 BST on June 15th and ends at 4:59:59 BST on June 16th.  

The AIL education program is going well and classes are being held at 43 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including 15 rural centers around Herat.  A diverse range of subjects are offered (though not at every center) including: math, literacy, Arabic, English, sewing, miniature painting, computers and physics. So far 13,888 students (including 9,044 females and 4,844 males) participated in Learning Center education. There are 150 females in 4 month long mobile literacy classes.

AIL staff maintain libraries in many LCs to help students with their studies and expose them to as varied a selection of reading matter as possible. Sometimes the libraries do double duty serving a school and an LC such as in this case, " The second branch of the school near Herat has a smaller library as it is located in a far village where the students are not able to go to the city to a big library or buy books. Therefore all students, girls and boys are allowed to study and use books in the school library at scheduled times. This library gives village students a  great opportunity to study subjects more in depth and to read advanced books so improving the depth and breadth of their knowledge".

TODAY, your donation can go further!  Donate between 9:00am and 11:59pm and help AIL continue its valuable work.

Dear Friends,

Last month AIL took delivery of 1,000 songbooks and 200 teacher guides. These will be distributed to Learning Centers for use in classes. It can be a challenge for some centers to have enough different literature for students to read, hence the importance of onsite libraries. AIL provides books to students whenever it can and works to increase the number of libraries. Here is the report from one library:

“The Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School has a big and full time library. It is dedicated for students of the school. Hundreds of students come to study in this peaceful library. They do their homework assignments, projects and research work given by teachers . In addition, all the students of the AIL Learning Center in Sofi Abad are allowed to study in this library and connect to the world through the internet access.”

The Citadel LC has access to the Gowhar Shad Library which is in the same historic complex. That library is supported by AIL and  is very popular. In the first 4 months of the year there were 2,084 visitors including 1,000 women.

Thanks for your continued interest.


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Dearborn, MI United States

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