Give Afghans a University Degree

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Recently, AIL was asked by the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to report on the impact AIL’s programs have had. We were amazed by our findings. Since beginning in 1996 through May 2009, 220,970 Afghans have been educated in AIL schools, centers and post-secondary institutions and overall 6,778,026 Afghan lives have been directly impacted by AIL programs.

A leader in private, post-secondary education, thus far in 2009, there have been 148 students studying in the two computer colleges in Gawhar Shad University and 115 females studying in the nurse/health educator/midwife college.

AIL recently received an update from 9 graduates of its nurse/midwife program, including where they are working.

One is working in a hospital laboratory, examining and testing 220 – 270 patients daily. The second is working in the delivery ward of a clinic and delivered 15 babies in the month of April, including preventing a women from having surgery by successfully delivering a baby in the breech position. A third is working in a hospital emergency room as well as working with pre- and post-op patients. The fourth is working as an administrative assistant in a hospital, and also dresses patients wounds. The fifth graduate is working in a pharmacy as well as assisting in surgeries. Graduate number six works in a children’s health clinic providing first aid for 30 – 25 children each month. The seventh graduate is also working in the delivery ward of a clinic. When she’s not helping to deliver babies, she dresses wounds and works in the physiotherapy department. The eighth and ninth graduates are working with AIL as health trainers teaching Afghan women various health workshops and assisting in one of AIL’s clinic when they are needed.

We would like to thank you for your support. It is because of donors like you that these bright young women were able to have career in hospitals and clinics around Afghanistan.

Afghans have very few opportunities for post-secondary education in Pakistan because they are refugees. Because of this, AIL opened Gawhar Shad University for Afghans. Following is the story of one of the students who attended the university in 2008. Yelda also attended other AIL programs and the story shows how AIL is empowering females through education.

“My name is Yelda. I am a student in the Computer Science College of Ghowar Shad University. 18 years ago my family, including my father, my mother, my sister and brother and I, like other Afghan people immigrated to Pakistan because at that time there was a great war in Afghanistan between the government and the mujahdin. This war destroyed all Afghanistan and killed thousands of people and the people tried to leave Afghanistan and go to other countries like Pakistan, India and Iran so we were one of those families to come to Pakistan. When we came to Pakistan, our economic situation was very bad. My father was jobless and we three were children. My father tried to find a job to support his family. Day by day we grew. My brother and sister were younger than me and we needed and wished to learn something and go to school but our life situation didn’t let us go to school because of fees. In Pakistan we lived on Arbab Road and one day one of our neighbors came to our house. She was a teacher in Ghowar Shad Begum primary and high school. She asked my mom about me and why I don’t go to school. My mom told her about our bad economic situation. Our neighbor told her that the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) works in Peshawar as an NGO and supports many schools and one of them is Ghowar Shad Begum school where I teach and this NGO helps the poor people and gives them scholarships so you can send your daughter to this school. The next day we went to Ghowar Shad Begum school and I joined this school and I tried my best to be an intelligent student and complete my education because it was my wish. I was in this school from class 1st up to class 12th . When I was in class 12th the trainers came from AIL and talked about the Ghowar Shad Begum University. I became very happy that we can learn more and more and all of this because of Professor Sakena Yacoobi who helps poor people like us and wants these people to have higher education and work somewhere so they can support themselves. Then my other classmates and I went to the AIL office for entry test and fortunately I passed this entry test successfully. In college also I have a scholarship. Then I wanted to help my family so when I was in class two in the 3rd semester, during summer vacation I participated in the teacher training technique seminar in AIL’s office to learn the new teaching methods and be a good and successful teacher. After I completed the technique seminar and received a certificate, since 2007 in the morning I teach in a girls school and in the afternoon I come to the college and continue my lessons. Now I am very happy because Anshaallah after one month I will graduate from college and also with my salary I can help my family & support my young brother & sister and I can say again all of this is because of the help of AIL. My family and I always are thankful and pray for Professor Sakena Yacoobi that God gives her a long life, complete health and more success with all the AIL staff.”

Following is the story of Mustafa, a student taking part in AIL’s post-secondary education courses. Not all students are able to travel to the university to study, so AIL has begun offering post secondary courses at institutes in it’s centers to allow these students to continue their education.

I am Mustafa, a student in AIL’s Information Technology (IT) class. First of all, I would like to thank the AIL office that is supporting us and helping us to get a quality education. I am studying IT here and all of the teachers are very talented and very kind. Many of them teach at Kabul University as well. I am 18 and finished school this year. I wished to study IT, and a friend studying here advised me to join AIL’s Institute. Now that three months have passed and I only have one left, I feel that my dreams are coming true. I am hoping to finish this program as soon as possible.

Below is another amazing story about the people that attend AIL’s university. Not only are they working to advance themselves, but they are also concerned about the advancement of those around them.

“My name is Rahima, I am 26 years old and have 4 children (2 daughters and 2 sons). I have not been what you would call lucky. My husband became addicted to opium, so I had to find a way to help myself and my family. I am now studying to be a nurse and my two children are going to school. I live in a rented house. I am thankful for the AIL Health Department for providing me with some food during this month. The donation was from one of the nursing course students. I hope that AIL will be able to continue their donations to me, and am thankful for the private donation from one of my fellow students.”

One of the other students in the nursing course saw that Rahima was struggling to feed her family. Rather than see Rahima have to leave the course to try to find a job that would feed her family, another student gave a donation to AIL that AIL then gave to Rahima. This allowed Rahima to continue on her path to a brighter future as a nurse.

Gowhar Shad University now has four areas of study: computer science, business administration, health and teacher training. Computer science and business administration are in the College of Math and Computer Science, located at the university’s campus in Peshawar, Pakistan. Since January 2006, 65 students have graduated from the College of Math and Computer Science at Gawhar Shad University. The Business Administration degree was just added this year and is a four year degree. There are currently 62 student in the Business Administration course. Entrance exams for new students were given in July 2008.

In the area of health and teacher training, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) is offering a nurse/health educator/midwife course and an in-service master teacher training program through its institutes in Kabul, Afghanistan. Presently there are 46 women studying in the nurse/health educator/ midwife course. AIL now has 22 Master Teacher Trainers (MTT) in the Kabul and Peshawar offices who have received their MTT certificates and 15 teacher trainers in Kabul and Herat who are continuing their studies.

In the last 12 months, Gawhar Shad University has added a four year Business of Administration degree in addition to its three year degree in computer science. There are presently 127 students in the two colleges at the university. Entrance exams for new classes were given in July 2008.


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
carolyn dunlap
Dearborn, Michigan United States

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