Thank you for your support of the Afghan Institute of Learning’s continued efforts to provide education to the Afghan refugees living in Peshawar, Pakistan. AIL is currently offering classes in three schools, one Learning Center and one preschool.
Summer holidays began in June for the 1,443 school students. The students finished their year by taking exams at the beginning of June and receiving their marks in mid June. School will resume in September.
There are currently 193 people studying in the Learning Center. The majority of students are women, and most are older student who are unable to attend a traditional school. The students are studying Arabic, English, Literacy and Sewing.
During this school year there were 11 students attending the preschool class. As summer hit in Pakistan, the classroom became very hot and during the summer many of the families began to travel. For these reasons, the preschool classes have temporarily been suspended, and the AIL staff is hoping they will resume in the fall.
We wanted to share with you the story of an older student who was able to attend school because of first studying at an AIL Learning Center. We hope you enjoy her story, and please know that you have helped to make this possible. Thank you.
My name is Zargona. Twenty years ago I was born in a northern province of Afghanistan, and all I remember is war in my country. When I was 5, the Taliban came to Afghanistan and war began again. First my family moved to Kabul, but the war forced us to move to Pakistan. We have been here for 15 years.
After we moved, my father struggled to find work. Sometimes he was able to work as a handy man, but it didn’t pay very well. He did his best to support my family (I am the middle of 5 children). Because things were so hard, days went by and no one thought about us or our future. We didn’t know about school or education, but, as we grew older, we began to feel like something was missing. That thing was education and literacy.
We asked our parents ‘Why don’t we go to school and learn some things?’ We wanted to go to school and get an education, but no one listened to us. Eventually, the camp we were living in was torn down to make room for buildings. After we moved, my mother would go to other houses to clean, but my sisters and I never left our house. We were like blind people who did not see anything.
One day one of our neighbors told us that his children attended an AIL school. They said that the education is free, and that we should ask our father. I was too old to go to school, but my younger brother and sister were able to attend. After a few months, my brother and sister came home and told us about AIL’s Learning Center. They told us that it was a place for older girls and women to go and learn. I couldn’t believe it, but my neighbor told me it was true.
I asked my father, but he said no. He wanted us to be home every night. Finally, my grandparents convinced him to let us go. On the first day of class, my father went with us and talked to the principal. I joined the English and literacy classes and my sister took literacy and sewing. In one year we had completed the courses and four years later I can read news and magazines, and I have passed my last literacy exam and now I can attend the AIL school and am in the sixth class.
Before it was like I was in the dark, like a blind person, but now I feel that my personal and family life has changed for the better. I can help our family; our economic situation is better; I teach English to housewives and girls to help make money. I am happy to support my family. Thank you to the AIL staff for giving us this opportunity. I want to continue to learn and become a good teacher to help my people.