Bringing Green to Afghanistan

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Grateful and Undaunted


At this time of year, we are reminded of our many blessings and how the people in our lives enrich us and bring joy to every day. All of us at the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) are especially grateful to you, for your generous support of our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan overcome many challenges:  women are emerging from the darkness of illiteracy to a bright and hopeful future; rural Afghan villages are being empowered to provide education and health care for their children – boys and girls; young men and boys who were part of the violence are finding a reason to believe in peace. All of this and much more is possible because of your contribution. Thank you!


As you celebrate this Holiday Season and anticipate the approach of the New Year, we hope that you will think of us again and make another donation to help ensure AIL is able to continue our work. You have most likely heard that Afghanistan continues to suffer terrible insecurity and poverty. But AIL is undaunted by the headlines because we know that the people of Afghanistan are working hard every day to improve their lives and the future of their country. Together with the people of Afghanistan, we are confident because we know that people like you believe in us and stand by us.


When you make your donation, check out the Tribute Card and Gift Card options – and please tell a friend about AIL and encourage them to make a donation too.


No matter what our circumstances today, when we believe in each other and work together, we can be assured that tomorrow will be better. Seasons Greetings and thank you again.


Sakena Yacoobi

AIL Executive Director

In October, 2010 the World Forum Foundation invited members of the Afghan staff of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) to attend their Nature Action Forum at the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, NE so that they would have significant international resources to help them with their project.  The Asia Foundation generously sponsored the trip for two of AIL’s administrative and teaching staff to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

During the forum, AIL set these project goals for the next 20 years:


  • People in Afghanistan will be aware of the importance of their connection with nature and will take action to ensure that Afghanistan has a sustainable natural environment. 


  • People in Afghanistan will have identified and defined uses of native medicinal herbs so that they are sustainable and are appropriately used throughout the population for their natural health benefits.


In order to achieve these goals, an interdisciplinary grade level curriculum is planned to be developed to teach involved students about the history of the use of plant species for food and in the treatment of injuries or illness.  They need to learn about the way things were done in Afghanistan before the wars; how people were able to live off the earth, still respecting every living thing as a useful part of a healthy life. 

Next, the students will learn the science behind plant growth and what is involved in planting, maintaining, and prospering a healthy garden.  How do you know which soil a plant needs? Where does it get its nutrients?  Why does it need sun? These lessons would focus on the actual scientific basis for a healthy, vegetated environment.

The next step will be the hands-on experiential learning of planting seeds or transplanting plants, feeding them with sun, nutrients, and water, watching them grow and develop, and then reaping the natural beauty and fruits of their labors.  Developing an emotional connection with the vegetation by fostering growth and learning how plants can benefit their lives, students will grow respect for their natural environment in ways that all the reading in the world cannot do.  The expectation is that they will have opportunities to share their knowledge with their families by bringing home flowers, medicinal parts of plants, and vegetables.  Through the collaborative partners that were introduced at the Nature Action Forum, the Bringing Green to Afghanistan project is one step closer to reality.

The Afghan Institute of Learning is determined to bring education about the environment and conservation methods to Afghanistan. AIL is looking for funding to start workshops and create gardens of native plants at our Learning Centers and clinics. Although Afghanistan has endured much environmental damage because of war, the Afghan people still have a love of plants and greenery. A father of one of our students writes: “With respect I want to write that my daughter Mursal, who is a student in your center, attends her classes with lots of interest and happiness. She always tells me that her lessons are according to the plan. Her teacher always tells them about respecting of elders, so she tells her younger brothers about it. She also insists to bring trees to plant them at home. I brought some because spring is going to come to make the yard beautiful and also make Mursal happy. I am thankful to AIL Office for taking such a great step to support this center and many others to help the needy people of Afghanistan. I wish this organization success and improvements always.”

We’d like to share some great news with you that will give you a better understanding of our project and the work we do in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Through the generosity of the Skoll Foundation, a timely video was produced about life in Afghanistan and the work AIL is doing to make a difference. The film producer and crew did a beautiful job capturing the essence of the best of the Afghan people, and the struggles they work with to achieve a better life. This film is now on YouTube, and it will be the best seven minutes you spend today. Moderated by Sakena Yacoobi, AIL’s executive director, this video offers a true taste of Afghanistan. Here’s the link to view it: We are also adding this as a permanent link to this project for future viewing. Your donation makes a precious impact on the lives of Afghan men, women and children. We thank you for your past support, and encourage you to forward this message to those who can help to continue this important work.

A reminder: June 16 is a special Global Giving Matching Day! - GlobalGiving will be matching all donations up to $1,000 per donor per project for this project at a 50% match. If you could like to donate again to our project, your donation will go further on June 16th. Thank you for your support….



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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan Afghanistan

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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