Recently, AIL was asked by the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to report on the impact AIL’s programs have had. We were amazed by our findings. Since beginning in 1996 through May 2009, 220,970 Afghans have been educated in AIL schools, centers and post-secondary programs and overall 6,778,026 Afghan lives have been directly impacted by AIL programs.
We recently estimated that since beginning Women’s Learning Centers in Afghanistan and Pakistan approximately 220,970 people have taken classes in them.
During 2008 AIL’s WLCs in Herat, Afghanistan held classes for 7,080 Afghans of which 5,242 (74%) were women. Since the beginning of 2009, the WLC’s have helped to educate 4,263 people of which 3,153 (74%) were women. AIL is very excited about the nearly 10% increase in students from this time last year.
In the WLC’s, AIL offers classes in subjects such as sewing and tailoring, literacy, English, computers, miniature painting, embroidery, beautician, math, painting, preschool, Pashto, and carpet weaving.
We’d like to share with you a few success stories from our centers, success stories that your donations made possible.
Mariam returned to Afghanistan from Iran a few years ago. Since returning, she has faced many problems including unemployment because she was illiterate. Fortunately, she was introduced to an AIL center by one of her friends. Her first priority was to become literate, and she began to take classes. After completing the 6th grade at the center, she joined the embroidery class at the center because she wanted to learn a skill which could help to provide an income for her family. After graduating from the embroidery class, she began working at the center as an embroidery instructor. She is so happy to be teaching other women to be self sufficient. Mariam said, “I would like to thank AIL for changing my life. I would also like to thank the AIL staff for their good work for our community.”
During a recent workshop at an AIL center, one of the participants shared this story with the center staff: “I was illiterate and my husband had graduated from high school. My husband’s mother told me that I should learn to read by participating in a literacy course, but that I must take the class at a center where there would not be any men in my class. I found the AIL center and decided to take classes here with my sisters. My husband’s mother has never come here with me, until today. She stood outside the class and watched as our Life Skills class was taught by a man, and I worried about what I should say to her. I began to relax as I realized that my teachers were good and moral people, and decided that I must be patient and after class I would talk to my husband’s mother. When I came out of class, I saw her standing there and I shared with her all of the things I had learned. She told me that she could hear that I was being taught well, and that she would like to join our class.”