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

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New monthly donations (active 4 months) up to $200 per donor per project get 100% match!

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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Today is Giving Tuesday! $150,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to ALL our projects on GlobalGiving.

This campaign has proportional matching which ensures all projects receive some extra funds. New recurring donations set up today (active for 4 months) get up to US $200 per donor per organization matched at 100% (on the first month's gift).

Extra! Extra! The two projects below qualify for both TODAY'S proportional match and a 50% ADDITIONAL MATCH from the Safer World Fund at GG!!  It's a Win-Win!

1155 Fast Track Education for Afghan Women and Girls

1073 Save Rural Afghan Women and Girls with Health care

AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) offer a variety of classes. One of the most popular classes offered is tailoring because women need a means to reduce household expenses and to earn money. They learn to make clothes for their own needs and can set up a small business.  So far in 2018, 2,108 females have studied tailoring in Herat LCs and 851 in LCs in Kabul and other provinces. Many students go on to start small home businesses doing mending and making clothes for neighbors or even setting up stalls in their local market.

Halima is a graduate of the sewing class. "I am a young girl. My family are very poor. My father is the only one earning money for the family. But now with my sewing skills I can make clothes for our family. I can also earn money sewing for other people. I can help my father with household expenses. My life has come out of darkness because of AIL and the sewing class.”

Thank you for your interest in Afghan women and the challenges they face.

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So far in 2018 AIL has run 7 Mobile Literacy Classes for 245 women. These classes are popular with rural women who have limited time to devote to education and often have travel issues affecting their ability to get to a center. The  4 month long courses finished at the end of July.  The students remain enthusiastic about learning and are able to use their new found literacy skills in daily life. At the end of the courses, 229 students ended up reading at 4th grade level and 16 at 3rd grade. The percentage of students reaching 4th grade has gone up to 93%, a remarkable result!

Here is one student’s story from month 3 of the course: "I am learning reading and writing in the Mobile Literacy Class. Before coming to this class, I could not read or write. I have 2 children and they are both in school. When they had problems with their homework they would come to me for help but I could not help them and this was painful for me. This prompted me to join the Mobile Literacy Class. After 3 months I was able to help my children as I could read and write. Our teacher taught us how to use a mobile phone and how to write messages, how to send a message to another individual and other aspects of the mobile phone. I would love to participate in other AIL courses and classes moreover, I would like to participate in school.” 

Thank you for your interest in our project. 

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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
$61,917 raised of $70,000 goal
1,527 donations
$8,083 to go
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