The year 2010 has been one of many challenges for people throughout the world. In Afghanistan, insecurity, violence, and poverty continue to threaten communities. But the people of Afghanistan are strong and hopeful, and they are working hard to overcome these challenges. At the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), we see it every day. You can help Afghans, particularly women and children, to create a better future for themselves and their families with a contribution to AIL through Global Giving.
Looking back upon the year, what we focus on are our reasons to celebrate.
As a generous donor to AIL, you are a gift to us and to the people of Afghanistan. We thank you and they thank you!!!
In fact, you make all of the other reasons to celebrate possible. Here is the rest of AIL’s top five reasons to celebrate in 2010:
Fatima’s story. Fatima is 22 is and has just graduated from Herat University and come to work with AIL. As a young girl, her school was closed by the Taliban. She continued studying in one of AIL’s underground home schools and in 2002, reentered high school, graduated and went on to university. Today, her dream, we are humbled to learn, is to work for AIL. She said, “AIL works for people, AIL helps needy people and AIL works among people. Also AIL’s wish is that Afghan woman and girls can support themselves and their families so the Afghan woman and girls are interested in this project.”
Each of the more than 7.9 million people (70% female) who have participated in AIL’s programs since 1996 is a reason to celebrate. In spite of many challenges, they have chosen to improve their lives and their communities by attending AIL’s Teacher Training, Learning Centers, workshops, and schools; seeking health care and health education at AIL’s health clinics; or receiving AIL’s Community Health Workers into their homes.
AIL’s new gynecological and surgical hospital opened in October 2010. It is the only private women’s hospital in Herat province. To keep the reasons to celebrate continuing, fees paid by patients who can afford them will eventually help subsidize AIL’s services at community-based clinics.
The Cultural Association Center, a new Learning Center AIL opened in April 2010, located in a rural area about 50 km from Herat City. The people of the area are very poor and primarily illiterate. The community learned about AIL’s ability to help them offer educational opportunities to their citizens and worked together to build a small facility. Although all communities are involved in the establishment and sustainability of their centers, this rural area was able to rally its citizens to make this project a success. Through November, nearly 300 students, all of them female, have attended courses at the Center. Subjects included Arabic, Tailoring/Sewing, Math, and Literacy.
Your renewed support will help AIL and the Afghan people start 2011 with renewed hope. If you have not yet renewed your support for AIL, please donate today and tell a friend. Thank you and best wishes.
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. Through education, teacher training, health care programs, and emergency assistance, as one woman put it, “… AIL is like an experienced mother in our society who is here to get more information to the women of Afghanistan.” We are able to serve that vital role – for the women, men, and children of Afghanistan – 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. As AIL’s founder and executive director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has said, “Reach out to others and give a gift to yourself.”
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.
Following is a story of a woman who has been helped by one of the Afghan Institute of Learning’s centers in Herat Province:
“I am 35 years old. I had three children before I came to this course. I was an illiterate woman. I said to myself, “I wish I could study in order to help the development of Afghanistan so, I started my efforts and struggled for learning in AIL’s center in a literacy class. My teacher is a kind woman; also I try hard and study my lessons carefully. Right now I am in eleventh class in the governmental school and the next year I will be graduating from high school. I wish to be a good teacher in the future and I should help our society. I am thankful for AIL that always works for capacity building of the people.
Looking at the first six months of 2010, the Afghan Institute of Learning has 9 active Education Learning Centers for rural Afghan women in Herat. Two new centers opened in April. 4,734 students of all ages come to these learning centers to become educated in such subjects as literacy, language, sewing and tailoring, computers, carpet weaving, English, math, beauty shop management, miniature painting, embroidery, macramé, Arabic, Pushto, and engraving.
Students and teachers at three of the centers had the opportunity to attend workshops on women’s health and democracy.
Here is a story from one of the sewing students at the Sar Asia learning center: “I was born in an illiterate family. My family didn’t want me to study until I came here. I hope that one day I will become a good tailor in my society for the servicing of my people. Afghanistan women, as you know, are suffering many pains right to have the need to help. I think I should work hard in my society because my country needs to reconstruct. Thanks for AIL who help the people of my village.”
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t1Xu_MwHg
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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