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

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to let you know that an AIL project has been selected as one of only six projects in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund! The project is 921 Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women. This project will receive one sixth of the donations made during the rest of this year to this special fund!

We would not have been selected for this opportunity without the support we received in the month of March from many donors such as yourselves. Great team effort! Thank you!


Project Update

AIL provides a variety of educational opportunities for women and girls, especially those in rural communities. This education helps them to improve their lives. Fast track classes continue to be a popular option at many Learning Centers. One of the most popular is the 4 month long Mobile Literacy Class. This class enables students to acquire literacy at a much faster rate than in the traditional literacy class. So far in 2017, there has been one class in Herat for 30 students running during the months of January through April.  13 students started the class not knowing the alphabet, 9 could read a little and 9 were reading at first grade level. We will update you on the results when these have been collated. The students learned to use the phone and compose hundreds of text messages during the class on various topics including health, peace, democracy and society and share them with their teacher, students and friends. There is also a social component to this class enabling the students to be in contact with relatives and friends which decreases isolation.

       "My name is Qamar. I am a 13-year old girl. I reached the third grade in school before I was asked to stop and stay home and help my mother with the chores. While at home, I did not practice my writing, therefore I forgot everything I learned. However, as the time passed, I became aware of what happened to me. The majority of girls around me went to school and became educated. I felt lost. I did not have the knowledge or ability to speak and build relationships with my peers. I blamed my family, especially my mother for this misery. A cousin of mine knew how I suffered. She suggested I make a change in my life. Regardless of how old I was, it was never too late for me to learn. At first I was ashamed, but finally I said I was going to do it. My cousin enrolled my name in the mobile literacy class at AIL. Now I am relearning my childhood lessons and becoming familiarized with new words day by day. I learn how to write messages and send them. I can save my friends numbers and interact with them through text messages. I thank Professor Sakena Yacoobi for providing educational programs for girls. By participating in this class, I am encouraged to continue my education.”

To give you an idea of how successful this fast track class is: 255 (85%) of the 300 students who attended the ten  Mobility Literacy classes in 2016 went from little to no literacy ability to a fourth grade reading and writing ability in four months! 45 students completed the classes at a third grade level. A great achievement for these students and AIL.

In 2016, 8,842 rural girls and women attended 15 LCs in Herat part of the body of 16,197 females who attended LCs under AIL management. Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the women who rely on them.

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Dear Friends,

When a community asks for AIL to set up a Learning Center (LC) it is a requirement that the community are supportive of the idea both theoretically and practically. Only with community involvement will these rural, illiterate women be able to achieve success in learning new skills. Here is the story of how one community supported its center and its women in 2016.

“One of the local people who lives near the center is called Khalil. He has helped the center a lot. The center did not have a telephone line and we had internet problems so Khalil voluntarily gave his house phone line to the center and helped by holding internet classes and seminars and these continue today. Another man named Naser who has a house on the same road has helped too. He offered to put the course’s advertisement board on the roof of his home because it would be seen more easily. The board is still there today. One of the other neighbors allowed the center to use his house's wall as a board and to advertise its programs. Other families gifted useful informative books in Arabic to help students learn the language.    

Herat's Education Department cooperated with the center and provided the opportunity for the center to introduce its programs to the girls' high schools. From the other side of things 4 high schools assisted the center in showing its activities.”      

This is truly a community effort! This operational approach is what creates sustainable opportunity for rural women. In 2016, 8,842 rural girls and women attended 15 LCs in Herat part of the body of 16,197 females who attended LCs under AIL management.

Please see our year end newsletter. Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the women who rely on them.

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Dear Friends, 

Today is #GivingTuesday! $500,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on GlobalGiving. 

50% match up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization while funds last. In addition, new recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday. Hurry up and donate!..Read our report below.

AIL offers women and girls various courses at its Learning Centers (LCs)   to expand their skills and help them contribute more to their families and communities. These women gain knowledge that improves their lives and that of their families. One of the most popular skills to learn is sewing and currently there are 818 students in sewing classes in Herat. 

Upon completion of a sewing class, students can sew any kind of garment. They can make their own clothes as well as set up a small business making clothes for other people. This helps them become self- supporting and improves the economic situation of their families. As important, is the fact that these women gain self-confidence and see themselves as valuable and able to contribute to society. This sort of skills learning and change in mindset is a success for any LC. One of students shares her success:“My name is Gul Nisa, I am one of the sewing class students. I learned sewing through AIL’s Learning Center. Today, I can sew dresses for my neighborhood and earn money. I never thought that one day I will be independent and able to help my family. I want to thank AIL for making my dream come true and I hope many future successes for them.”

A bright and hopeful future for women Afghanistan! Thank you for your continued support of AIL programs. 

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Dear Friends,

AIL’s successful Learning Center program helps thousands of girls and women each year. In Herat there are 26 Learning Centers which served 12,546 people in the last six months. This number includes 7,994 women and girls. 9 of the centers are urban and 17 are rural. Most centers are co-ed but there are 3 which serve only females.

One of those female only centers is at an orphanage. There are approximately 150 girls (numbers fluctuate as girls age out and new ones arrive) being cared for in the orphanage. Each day AIL staff make sure that the 90 girls who are of age, go to school, and when they return to the orphanage they are offered tutoring. There are cooks who ensure that each girl is given healthy, nutritious food to eat.  Health care is also provided by the girls and health education. 

The girls have the opportunity to attend classes offered by AIL after their school day. There are 9 classes taught by 4 AIL teachers at the orphanage. The classes include Arabic, sewing, computer and English. Twice a year each girl is supplied with cloth and is taught how to make a pattern and sew the cloth into clothing, giving her a skill, which she can use to help earn an income when she leaves the orphanage and goes out into the world as a young woman. AIl wants every orphan to leave as an empowered young woman with skills that will help her look after herself.

Habiba, a young girl that has been raised by the orphanage since she was five years old. In ten years of life she has faced many challenges in her past. She was born into a poor family of 5 members. Her father was killed on a road side bombing when she was 2 years old, and her mother and three of her siblings were working to pay for their livelihood.  To add to her devastation, Habiba’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed as well. Shortly after, her older sister married and Habiba and her brother were brought to the orphanage due to the financial constraints of staying with relatives. At the orphanage she is living like other children having nutritious food, someone to look after her, friends to play with, clothing to wear and a school to learn and grow. Currently a 4th class student, Habiba’s intelligence is evident in her interest in learning computer skills. When we asked her what she thinks about the computer, she answered us in this way: "Computer was a new thing for me and I didn't know it before I saw it the first time. I knew nothing about the keys, the hardware and the software and how to use it. From the day I started, it was amazing for me and I can do many things with it. I can paint, draw, write, read, count and do many things. During the sessions I learned many things and I am not that girl of years ago. I wish I can be an elite student and then an elite person in this country and change the destiny of children like myself. I am going to achieve all my goals by studying and critical thinking. Today my dreams are coming true at AIL orphanage. I am going to change my life."    

Your support makes a difference in the lives of girls like Habiba. Thank you.

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Dear Friends, 

TODAY June 15TH -9:00am ET TO 11:59pm! 50% Matching funds available for donations made to AIL projects on GlobalGiving.org! Donations up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization may be matched while funds available. The money runs out fast- so donate now!

Are you a UK donor? GlobalGiving.co.uk has its own bonus day. Donations up to £1,000 per donor per organization may be matched 50% while funds last. Match starts 14:00:01 BST on June 15th and ends at 4:59:59 BST on June 16th.  

AIL update

The AIL education program is going well and classes are being held at 43 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including 15 rural centers around Herat. A diverse range of subjects are offered including: math, literacy, Arabic, English, sewing, miniature painting, computers and physics. So far 13,888 students (including 9,044 females and 4,844 males) participated in Learning Center education. There are 150 females in 4 month long mobile literacy classes. AIL staff maintain libraries in many LCs to help students with their studies and expose them to as varied a selection of reading matter as possible. Here is a typical story from one center, “We could solve the family problem of two students this month.  One of them is a young woman; her husband is an opium user. He didn’t let his wife join the center.  But we talked with them and were able to get his agreement. After a lot of talk and face to face contact of the center’s manager and elders of the area he did agree with her.  Now the woman is learning in our center. She is very happy about this and thanked AIL staff for changing her life.”  This story reflects the growing problem of opium addiction in the male population and its devastating consequences on both the men and the female members of their families. AIL's education program gives women and girls hope for their futures and means to earn a living if needed to support their families.

TODAY, your donation can go further!  Donate between 9:00am and 11:59pm and help AIL continue its valuable work providing education.

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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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