Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women
Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for 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.  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.


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***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.

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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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AIL provides training in  human rights, women’s rights, leadership, peace, democracy, good citizenship and other capacity building topics. AIL’s leadership training takes place in two ways.  AIL holds in-depth leadership workshops and also integrates the teaching of leadership into every workshop and every class in AIL centers. So far in 2021, 122 people have attended Leadership Workshops.  AIL also supports a special 2 year leadership course for 30 students at the Yacoobi high schools. Leadership workshops include topics such as what makes a good leader, management, listening skills, self- confidence, public- speaking, building good relationships, politics, democracy and peace.

In the centers, leadership concepts are taught by teachers who have taken the AIL leadership workshops. In part, AIL’s Leadership training seeks to help participants understand that anyone can be a leader and to enhance the participants’ ability to take a variety of leadership roles in their community.

Based on feedback from participants, AIL has long known that its leadership training have resulted in the participants taking leadership roles that were new to them following the workshop.  Leadership training is transformative.  If there are female leaders in society, the violence decreases dramatically, because women can solve problems without using weapons and violence. The students in classes, such as tailoring, gain leadership skills along with following their tailoring class curriculum which means for example, tailoring students feel empowered to set up their own home business or become tailoring teachers.

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

Covid-19: AIL continues with its relief efforts providing food aid, PPE and running a Covid-19 hospital. All health clinics are operating and Learning Centers and schools are holding classes. Radio Meraj continues to broadcast the latest Covid-19 information.

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Tailoring is an income generating skill and in one month there were 1,987 students studying this course. Women go on to make clothes for their families and start small businesses sewing for others, some also become sewing teachers.

It is a gateway skill, enabling women to gain independence and with the confidence they gain from this achievement they seek more education. These women also prioritize educating their daughters having experienced the course.

“My name is Nafisa. I am 29-years-old and have 3 children and unfortunately, my husband died in an accident. After this we suffered so many economic and social problems. In that situation I could not fulfill the basic need of food for my children. During quarantine days I was able to use my sewing skills and earn some money from my customers to provide for my children. It made all the difference!” 

Your support makes all the difference! Thank you.

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
Sakena Yacoobi
Founder & CEO
Dearborn, Michigan United States
$119,719 raised of $135,000 goal
 
4,607 donations
$15,281 to go
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