Weaving, tailoring and sewing skills are a lifeline for women giving them the opportunity to earn some money and contribute to the family income. Sewing classes remain very popular but some centers also offer, nut weaving, sewing with tiny mirrors, embroidery and carpet weaving. All of these are traditional Afghan crafts.
September student numbers:
Herat: 1,245 sewing, 33 embroidery
Kabul: 283 sewing, 73 in handicrafts
Here are the comments of one student named Mena. “I am 54 years-old and I have 5 children. I suffered for a long time from lack of money and joblessness. When I found out that there is a learning center which provides services for free for all, I first enrolled my child in a computer class. I thought I could do something too and I enrolled myself in a weaving class. Luckily after only a few months I made great progress because of my hard work and the help from my teachers. Now, I can weave many things in traditional styles. I sell these things and earn money which helps my family.
Thank you for supporting Afghan women.
Tailoring and sewing skills are a lifeline for women giving them the opportunity to earn some money and contribute to the family income. In June, Herat centers had 1,207 sewing students, and 132 embroidery students. There were 263 beautician students, which is another income-generating skill with which women can set up home businesses. In the same month, Kabul centers had 312 sewing students and 150 handicraft students.
AIL works to provide excellent equipment for the sewing classes, making repairs to machines as needed and if necessary replacing them. We run a specific microproject for this purpose.
"My name is Farzana. I am 35 years old. I have 4 children. Due to country situation and internal war unfortunate my husband died and after that we suffered so many economic and social problems. I could not provide the basic need of food for my children. One day a neighbor said that there is a learning center which is free of charge and teaches sewing. I joined the class and amazingly I learned sewing after three months, now I am able to sew clothes for my family and for others. I opened a sewing shop and through this I can earn money and help my family. "
Your support makes all the difference to women’s lives in Afghanistan! Thank you.
Tailoring and sewing skills are a lifeline for women giving them the opportunity to earn some money and contribute to the family income. Most of AIL’s Learning Centers offer sewing including our newly opened center at Zamanian in the Herat area. This center is focused on 5 areas: Languages, Sciences, Computing, Arts and Skills such as sewing. This shows that centers cater to a wide range of student needs from academic to income-generating skills and basic education such as reading and writing.
Mastering sewing skills gives women confidence in their abilities, purpose, respect within the family and community and raises their self-esteem.
Here is Hafiza’s story, “I live near Kabul. When I first came to the center I knew nothing about sewing. I was not sure I could learn how to sew. The teacher and my family encouraged me and I worked hard at it. Now I am able to sew any kind of clothing and I am also able to teach other women how to this craft. I have my own tailoring shop in my community. I sew clothes, teach women and earn money from this for the family.”
The 2021 Sakena Fund annual report is attached and we hope you find it interesting.
Your support makes all the difference to women’s lives in Afghanistan! Thank you.
***There are only a few days left to donate in 2021! We would love your support for our projects. Thank you!***
AIL’s Learning Centers were examined by the Taliban and remain open as they comply with gender segregation rules. We have instituted changes such as switching to an emphasis on post-6th grade girls education. Of course, we continue to provide income generating skills training such as tailoring, beautician, English and computing.
One of the first classes women take at a Learning Center is sewing. This skill provides immediate financial help to a family, as the woman takes on sewing clothes for her family members. She can start up her own home sewing business, obtaining work from neighbors and friends or selling items in the market. Other students have gone on to work for clothing companies as tailors.
A sewing course boosts the confidence of women who often arrive at a center unable to read and write and many have never had formal education beyond a few years of primary school. The students who complete the tailoring course feel empowered to go onto other learning.
Why Do AIL centers work? This from an administrator, “The centers’ personnel have a close relationship with the local community. The personnel are invited to the elders' meetings and have been appreciated and encouraged by them. They have built a friendly relationship with the elders and the people and have made presentations about the multilateral programs to everyone, so they can direct people’s wishes and expectations.”
AIL Outreach 2021: 23,905 students, 18,132 PPE distributed, 6 health clinics, 50-bed Covid-19 hospital, 95,593 patient treatments, 59,888 health education, 13,050 food aid families served, 22 radio broadcasts daily, 8 hours of TV programs, 12 provinces reached.
Afghanistan has been stunned by recent developments and people are adapting as best they can, to a new situation which remains both unclear and uncertain as to the future. AIL’s current priority is to provide urgently needed assistance to the thousands of displaced families who have flooded into Kabul and Herat. Some centers provide a staging point for aid. Our staff are all working, though offices currently are men only with women working from home. The centers are all female and await instructions from the Taliban with regard to procedures required for reopening centers to our students. We are optimistic these classes will start again very soon. A woman with skills is a woman who contributes to her family financially, which makes life better for everyone in the family. Tailoring is a skill a woman can use from the home, and doesn’t require her to be alone with strangers. Our clinics have expanded their capacity to cope with the large numbers of refugees that are in the area.
The Yacoobi private schools are open and operating under the rules that have been given such as dividing male and female. It is exam season and students are studying hard and sitting their exams as usual. It is a great credit to them and their teachers as everyone has heightened levels of fear, stress and anxiety. The private TV and Radio Meraj are not broadcasting but awaiting instructions in how to recommence and staff are creating content and archiving materials for broadcast at a later date.
We have been touched by the outreach of support and outpouring of donations to help the Afghan people. We thank you for standing by Afghanistan as it faces another humanitarian crisis on top of Covid-19 and drought.
Update on tailoring classes
In the first half of 2021, there were 1,634 students studying various needle craft skills including, tailoring, weaving, nut weaving, crochet and embroidery. Graduates of these courses go on to form home businesses as well as sewing for family and friends or gain jobs in the sewing sector. This is often the first class a woman takes at a center and her success leads her to believe in her abilities so she goes on to take up literacy, Arabic and math classes too.
Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.
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