Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women
Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women

Afghanistan has been stunned by recent developments and people are adapting as best they can, to a new situation which remains both unclear and uncertain as to the future.  AIL’s current priority is to provide urgently needed assistance to the thousands of displaced families who have flooded into Kabul and Herat. Some centers provide a staging point for aid. Our staff are all working, though offices currently are men only with women working from home. The centers are all female and await instructions from the Taliban with regard to procedures required for reopening centers to our students. Our clinics have expanded their capacity to cope with the large numbers of refugees that are in the area.

The Yacoobi private schools are open and operating under the rules that have been given such as dividing male and female. It is exam season and students are studying hard and sitting their exams as usual. It is a great credit to them and their teachers as everyone has heightened levels of fear, stress and anxiety. The private TV and Radio Meraj are not broadcasting but awaiting instructions in how to recommence and staff are creating content and archiving materials for broadcast at a later date.

We have been touched by the outreach of support and outpouring of donations to help the Afghan people. We thank you for standing by Afghanistan as it faces another humanitarian crisis on top of Covid-19 and drought. 

Herat centers update

2021 has been a busy year for AIL’s Learning Centers. The centers are a vital educational resource for many women who have missed out on schooling or wish to improve their knowledge base and learn new skills.

So far this year, Herat centers have helped 12,400 students (7,992 female including 4,149 adolescent females). There are 19 rural centers and 14 are urban. Popular subjects include: Arabic, sewing, literacy and English. Preschool classes were offered at 8 Herat centers reaching 482 students. (Recently one preschool class closed). Courses in sewing, beautician and English and computing are income generating skills which help women gain employment or start their own home business. 

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

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AIL provides training in  human rights, women’s rights, leadership, peace, democracy, good citizenship and other capacity building topics. AIL’s leadership training takes place in two ways.  AIL holds in-depth leadership workshops and also integrates the teaching of leadership into every workshop and every class at AIL centers, including those in Herat. So far in 2021, 135 people have attended leadership workshops. AIL also supports a special 2 year leadership course for 30 students at the Yacoobi high schools.

Leadership workshops include topics such as what makes a good leader, management, listening skills, self- confidence, public speaking, building good relationships, politics, democracy and peace. In the centers, leadership concepts are taught by teachers who have taken the AIL leadership workshops. In part, AIL’s Leadership training seeks to help participants understand that anyone can be a leader and to enhance the participants’ ability to take a variety of leadership roles in their community which demonstrate democratic core values of liberty- personal, political, economic freedom, common good, justice and equality. 

So far this year, AIL has held leadership workshops in Kabul for women in the Balkh province. With the growing security issue there is significant threat to women’s’ and girls’ education especially for those who reside in rural areas. It is important for women to have access to the quality education, like what is offered at AIL Learning Centers. Beyond leadership, women have the desire to learn so much, protect and empower themselves, and impact their communities.

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

Covid-19: AIL continues with its relief efforts providing food aid, PPE and running a Covid-19 hospital. All health clinics are operating and Learning Centers and schools are holding classes. Radio Meraj continues to broadcast the latest Covid-19 information.

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Women’s empowerment, education and health are all connected!

AIL has always taken a multi-pronged approach providing education and health care and health education. Poor health, ignorance and malnutrition in children hold women and families back from prospering. A woman caring for sick children cannot attend class.  AIL's health clinics assessed the nutritional status of 26,000 children in 2020 and 1,944 were treated for malnutrition.

"There are many people who have no access to a health clinic, so their children suffer malnutrition because of ignorance. AIL Community Health Worker posts are connected to the Herat clinics and find such children in the villages and refer them to the clinic. The children receive food and nutrition health messages till they get fine. We give them consultations on how to serve healthy food as well."  (Nutrition Section staff member)

When women know how to take care of their health, are healthy and have children who are well nourished, those women are more productive in their family unit and community. They are more likely to prioritize education of their daughters and seek education and skills training for themselves.

Thank you for your support.

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AIL has risen to the challenge of Covid-19 and kept its programs running during the pandemic. Education was provided online and through education packs delivered to students.

Dr. Yacoobi said, “ I am so proud of my staff who have kept AIL running through the pandemic with adapted programs AND produced PPE for ministries and hospitals- 14,000 face shields, 13,000 masks, 400 other items AND opened a 50 bed Covid-19 hospital AND provided food aid and counseling AND provided virus information through Radio Meraj!”

We are glad to say that centers and schools are now open under strict social distancing and sanitation rules. Students are delighted to be back especially the children who missed their friends, teachers and the structure of classroom life.

In August, one of our Herat centers reported these activities: made 400 masks and 13 sets of PPE clothing, map of Afghanistan sewn onto a carpet, prepared Covid-19 awareness clips, planted plants for inside the center and the carpet weaving class completed projects and started new ones.

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

Our projects 1155 Fast Track Education and 1073 Healthcare are eligible for the Safer World Fund 50% on donations right now!

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Covid-19 has created a great many difficulties in Afghanistan, especially because it is a poor country and has fragile health and education systems. AIL has had to close its Learning Centers in Herat but staff worked hard to adapt its education program to online, distance learning. Students have been provided with education packs and have access to a teacher by email, a hotline and in person if necessary.

It is vital that students continue their learning and do not lose heart.  “It takes time and patience to gain acceptance for girls’ education, especially in rural areas. I am concerned that we do not lose the ground we have gained,” says Dr. Yacoobi.

Quarantine has increased the sense of isolation that many women feel and is pushing girls into more household chores and we fear families will not look to return their girls to class and there will be a consequential rise in child marriage. The stress of the health and economic situation is causing a rise in family disputes and violence against women.  The education packs give girls a focus and a hope that they will return to school or an AIL center for classes in the near future.

AIL has been able to repurpose its tailoring classrooms at many sites in Herat Province, to the production of personal protective equipment. Teachers and tailoring course graduates are producing gowns and masks while other staff are joining in and helping to make face shields. These items are being used in AIL health clinics and being donated to the government for use in other cities. 

Your support is vital in helping us maintain our distance learning program.


AIL is working towards: SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$65,427 raised of $98,000 goal
1,552 donations
$32,573 to go
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