Learning Centers for Rural Afghan Women in Herat

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Vetted

Every month we receive stories showing the positive effect that AIL is able to have in lives of women in Afghanistan. A positive effect that is due in part to your generous support. We would like to share with you the story of Fatima, a young girl studying literacy in one of AIL’s centers in Herat.

One year ago, Fatima was unable to read or write. She decided to attend literacy classes in one of AIL’s rural centers in Herat Province. In the past year, Fatima has proven herself to be a very intelligent student. She says, “I am not the same person I was last year, I am now a literate woman.” In fact, Fatima has begun to teach her mother and father how to read and write. She began by teaching them the alphabet, and is now up to page nineteen in the grade one literacy book. 

This is the story of a student at the Sar Asia Center in Herat:

 I am 22 years old.  Seven years ago, I came to this Center and studied sewing.  I learned how to sew and the cutting of clothes.  Fortunately, I now have a daily income from sewing clothes.  I can earn 10 dollars per day and my family’s expenditures are 7 dollars every day.  I can save three dollars each day.  In one year I can save 1100 dollars.  This is how I am helping my family.  I continue to come to the Center to attend literacy and Arabic classes.  I am now in the fourth level of literacy.  When I started here, my family did not like the idea, but now they respect me and encourage me.  Recently, I enrolled my mother in literacy classes so that she may also learn.

These kinds of stories touch my heart and give me hope for all women in Afghanistan.  The idea that she is saving money for her future makes me smile and shows me that AIL is helping people lead better lives.

Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.  

Since 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has been helping Afghans lift themselves above the devastation of war by providing education, training, health care, and health education.  AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs, like building blocks that together form a whole structure.  While delivering these basic services AIL has also been able to promote critical thinking skills and model and teach human rights, women’s rights, peace, democracy, and leadership. With new skills and information, Afghans are becoming empowered and hopeful. Through your financial support, you have been a part of these seeds of systemic change.

Through the natural progression that exists when people begin to think for themselves, AIL often receives requests from Afghans who want to find ways to work together to promote love, understanding, and forgiveness to their people in order to return to a peaceful way of life; the way of their country’s history.  Supported by Fetzer Institute,  AIL is responding to these requests by holding an International Conference on Love and Forgiveness this Spring that will be shared throughout the country and internationally via film.  This conference will focus on the study of Afghan poets and musicians, particularly the work of Mawlana (Rumi).  Participating in the conference will be poets, writers, Sufis and government representatives from all parts of Afghanistan and the world.

 Joining the Conference, in person, or via film or writings, are:

  • Poet Coleman Barks; known as the pre-eminent translator of Rumi, the great 13th century poet and teacher.  Mr. Barks’ writings and translations have filled 15 books that are more popular than other renderings of these ancient words.  They make Rumi’s raptures accessible to the world beyond their creation.
  • Stephen Olsson, President of CEM Productions, has produced and directed documentary films, television series and feature news reports throughout the world for US and European broadcasters.  He also produced and directed: Afghanistan: The Fight For A Way of Life, which was broadcast throughout the world and cited by The New York Times as one of the best documentary films of the year.
  • Divine Mother Audrey Kitagawa, a former attorney, practiced in Honolulu for twenty years, and became the spiritual leader of The Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, a worldwide community based in Hawaii. Divine Mother Audrey is a prolific writer on matters of spirituality and multiculturalism and serves on many global, spiritual and UN advisory boards, including as Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

AIL invites you to join Afghans in thought and through your own study of music and poetry that brings us all closer to the peaceful world we endeavor to achieve.

In September of 2011, two additional Learning Centers were opened in the Herat Province by the
Afghan Institute of Learning.  Both of these Centers were requested by the communities they serve.  One started with 114 students, but enrollment there has already increased to 185.  The other, located
in a small rural village, began with 20 female students, and had increased to 27 by January.

In addition, in November 2011, the Afghan Institute of Learning was asked to help support yet another Learning Center in Herat.  This Center currently hosts 50 students.  As of January 2012, there were
14 Learning Centers operating in the Herat Province, and 70% of the nearly 5,000
students are women.


Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match.  The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted.  So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of Global Giving, give early on March 14th.  Thank you!

 Nearly 6,400 women have studied at Learning Centers in Herat this year alone.  Subjects they have covered include Arabic, Literacy, Sewing, Carpet Weaving, English, Computer, Beautician, Physics, Math, Embroidery and Painting.

One student, from Zainabia had this to say:

“I am 35 years old. I have three children before that I came in course I was an illiterate woman.  I said for myself I wish I could study in order to development of Afghanistan so, I started my effort and struggle to learn in Zainabia center in literacy class.  My teacher is a kind woman also I try hard and study my lessons carefully. Right now I am in eleven class in the governmental school and the next year I will be graduate in  high school.  I wish to be a good teacher in future and I should help our society.  I am thankful for AIL that always works for capacity building of the people.”

 

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.afghaninstituteoflearning.org
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$49,642 raised of $60,000 goal
 
 
1,305 donations
$10,358 to go
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