Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women in Herat

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

AIL works to promote literacy by providing classes at its Learning Centers, such as those in rural Herat. It also publishes a magazine and whenever possible books. Books published by AIL recently include:

Mobile Literacy Messages: a book supporting the literacy class that uses texting to teach the alphabet and up to grade 4 literacy in 4 months. Some mobile literacy classes take place at rural Herat centers and are for illiterate women.

Leadership Skills: supporting leadership development at centers, in workshops and the 2 year youth leadership course at the private Yacoobi High School. Women at the centers want to know how to advocate for themselves, speak in public and engage more fully in their communities.

Teacher Training: helping teachers improve their teaching skills at workshops and in staff meetings at centers. Some teachers who study with AIL go on to become teachers at AIL Learning Centers.

Healthcare Messages: for AIL clinics, mobile literacy classes and the ZMQ mobile app pregnancy monitoring program which AIL was a part of.

Peace Education: the most recent book published. Peace education is promoted at centers, preschools and in workshops.

Thank you for your support for our work.

The year end newsletter for CHI is attached.

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

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AIL seeks to spread education to as many women as possible and uses different means to achieve this. All its Learning Centers receive copies of the magazine that AIL publishes called Neda-e-Talim. There are two issues each year.

The content is educational and news orientated emphasizing literacy and health with use of photographs and graphics.  The most recent edition included articles on: literacy for a better life, Touchstone English language learning system, women and leadership skills, discriminatory language, health, peace, private school football, women’s rights, poetry and literature, discipline at schools, children’s literature.

The magazine also gives updates on AIL’s work, information on AIL’s Learning Centers and Dr. Yacoobi’s private radio station, Radio Meraj.  Copies of the magazine are widely distributed and available at all AIL facilities such as offices, libraries, centers and clinics.

Some of the women at centers are illiterate starting out on their education journey or are only able to read a little. The magazine is still of use to them as it has pictorial content too. More accomplished readers may read aloud to the illiterate women helping them and creating bonds of friendship.

Thanks for your support.

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Empowering women is at the core of all of AIL’s work. The centers provide the opportunity for education in academic subjects such as literacy and income generating skills like sewing. Each woman who comes to class also learns about health, democracy, leadership and how to advocate for herself. AIL runs Leadership Workshops for women.

We wanted to tell you about another program Dr. Yacoobi started, the Women’s Empowerment Group. In 2018, 80 highly educated women aged 25 to 50 were invited to attend this program. The aim was to help them become better leaders, learn collaboration and cooperation and mutual support skills. The group discussed many topics in meetings and via the Telegram system. Topics included: good governance, culture, education for women, the environment, democracy, trust, honesty, responsibility and cooperation. After a year of working together almost all the women felt empowered to take on a greater leadership role and most stood for elected positions.

They have learned the importance of supporting each other and after elections they rallied behind the winners. These women advocate for all women and especially the disadvantaged from a position of influence and elected credibility. They are also role models, especially for girls. The women are life-long members of the group and continue to meet and support each other.

Thanks for your support.


Recently, the Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School, Herat won an International School Award from the British Council. The awards go to schools that demonstrate a commitment to developing global citizens by embedding internationalism throughout the ethos and curriculum of the school.

The Director of the British Council, Afghanistan said: “This globally recognized accreditation helps enrich learning & improve teaching by guiding international learning activities, from introducing international education into the curriculum to embedding it within school culture.”

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In the Herat area, AIL has 2 fixed health clinics, 4 clinics at Learning Centers, 2 at an orphanage and 1 at a street children facility. There are also two clinics in the Kabul area.

Here is a snapshot of one month’s activity of the health program:  In February, AIL gave 20,651 patient treatments and provided health education to 13,962.  Some of the most popular health education topics this month included: family planning, drinking water, drugs and influenza.  There were 23 babies delivered at clinics. 4,864 patients were vaccinated. AIL monitors the health of children in the clinic areas by completing thorough health screenings and nutritional assessments –1,749 children were assessed for nutritional status and 175 were deemed malnourished.

 AIL also gives reproductive health workshops throughout the year. Here are comments from one attendee, “I am Sohaila, an illiterate woman. I have some health problems and I am always afraid when I get pregnant because I face many difficulties. At this workshop I learned a lot. I didn't know before I had my daughter that child spacing is important and I should prevent pregnancy for at least 3 years to allow for the recovery of the mother and care of the baby.  I have learned about ways to prevent pregnancy like natural calendar, condom, tablet taking and  IUD." 

Proper healthcare and health information education help women to stay healthy, survive childbirth and raise healthy children.

Thanks for your support.


Dr. Yacoobi joined with high level national and international delegates in the "Seville Commitment" - Supporting Localization Efforts for #SDGs.  She said, “AIL has provided SDG services to the most marginalized and disadvantaged for 25 yrs. In my talk I emphasized it is essential to work with local governments and provide resources to local NGOs who are doing good work. Replicate excellent SDG focused programs so No One is Left Behind!”

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At the start of this new year we reflect on what we have achieved in 2018 and how this has changed women’s lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give women the opportunity to learn, to network with other women and to gain both knowledge and increase their capacity.

In 2018, 28,121 students (19,095 female) attended courses at 48 LCs. The courses offered at centers vary according to need. Literacy and sewing are popular, also English, computers, math and weaving. There are some centers that are specialist such as 3 that are preschool only and 1 that is boys computing, 2 that offer computers/English combination classes only. There are 32 centers in the Herat area (16 rural).

Here are a couple of our favorite AIL stories from the year. Nadia is a Computer class student. “I attended the computer class for 5 months and I learned a great deal.  I am now a fully skilled computer programmer. Computer skills are extremely important and everyone needs to have them.  I am so proud of myself, that I learned this skill and can work for my countrymen.  Recently, I got a part-time job at a foundation for women. I exchange emails and coordinate meetings for the board of directors. I earn money and can buy whatever I need. I am also able to teach computer skills to my children, and don’t need to pay anyone else to do it.  I can communicate with friends and I continue to improve my skills. Whenever a woman can earn money she can live independently and support their family.”

Aqeela attended a 4 month Mobile Literacy Class. “I lost the chance of being educated when I was a teen. I am so happy to have the opportunity to take part in this class and learn to read and write. I heard good things about the class and this persuaded me to join it. In the past 4 months, I learned to be a new person literate and educated in many things. I have become a skillful woman who is able to change the rest of her life.” 

Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you will read the annual newsletter attached.

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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
$64,486 raised of $98,000 goal
1,539 donations
$33,514 to go
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