Tailoring: A Small-Business Skill for Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning


About 700 women each month learn tailoring and how to run a small tailoring business from their homes. Women enter the course not knowing the basics; they leave with a livelihood.
total goal
monthly donors
years active


Poverty remains widespread in Afghanistan's struggling economy with refugees particularly hard hit. Widows are especially vulnerable to unemployment and poverty. In order to help widows and other women AIL began tailoring classes, which now number 700 women per month. These classes teach women to sew a wide variety of clothing from patterns which they can then sell.


During the tailoring course, women learn to compute budgets for clothing and savings from making their own clothes. They learn to design and make a variety of clothes. Health, peace, and women's rights lessons are also taught during class.

Long-Term Impact

Women learn to save money they would have spent on clothes in order to purchase a sewing machine and start a small business. Course graduates sew their family's clothes, start a home-based business, and/or become sewing teachers.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).


Afghan Institute of Learning Website
Wonderful Video about AIL and Life in Afghanistan

Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.afghaninstituteoflearning.org
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States