We are providing education to a growing number of women and girls of all ages and backgrounds. In the first two months of the year, we brought education to over 9,236 girls in subjects such as literacy, English, Arabic, and computers. We have also provided these women and girls with opportunities to gain skills in sewing, tailoring, carpet and silk weaving, macramé, and painting.
All of these skills open doors to careers and other opportunities to make an income. In addition, our Fast-Track program has opened doors to women and girls by providing them with flexible schedules to learn the basics as fast or as slow as they are able to. We wish to thank you all for your generosity and compassion in making these hopeful changes possible!
One center reported recently, “One of our sewing graduates has become a sewing teacher at a learning center. She now has 25 students that she teaches every day. The students are happy to have her as their teacher and are learning many things each day.”
Dr. Yacoobi joined with high level national and international delegates in the "Seville Commitment" - Supporting Localization Efforts for #SDGs. She said, “AIL has provided SDG services to the most marginalized and disadvantaged for 25 yrs. In my talk I emphasized it is essential to work with local governments and provide resources to local NGOs who are doing good work. Replicate excellent SDG focused programs so No One is Left Behind!”
AIL is working towards: SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
At the start of this new year we reflect on what we have achieved in 2018 and how this has changed women’s lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give women the opportunity to learn, to network with other women and to gain both knowledge and increase their capacity.
In 2018, 28,121 (19,095 female) attended courses at 48 LCs. The courses offered at centers vary according to need. Literacy and sewing are popular, also English, computers, math, weaving. There are some centers that are specialist such as 3 that are preschool only and 1 that is boys computing, 2 that offer computers/English combination classes only. There are 32 centers in the Herat area (16 rural) and 13 in the Kabul area.
In 2018 there were 2,993 sewing students at AIL centers. One center in the Kabul area reported that a graduate of their sewing class in now a teacher at another center. She has 25 students who she works with every day. “I am so happy that I got to go to the AIL center and learn sewing. It changed my life and now I can teach others and earn an income.”
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you will read the annual newsletter attached.
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Tailoring is always popular with women and girls at Learning Centers. It is often the first class they want to do and becomes a gateway to other classes. Students gain a useful skill and the confidence of knowing they can learn whatever their educational level or age.
"My name is Rabea and I studied to grade four when I was a girl. I left school because my family did not agree with continuing my education. I have always dreamt of being an independent woman. So I attended AIL’s Tailoring class after getting permission from my husband. My husband is disabled from his feet, so he cannot work and pay for our livelihood. It was a necessity for me to work because my family and children needed something to eat in order to stay alive. Through the years I was looking for work as household help or services in houses near our home.
I have learned tailoring for about six month at the AIL center and it has been 2 months since I took a part time job in a big company in the city. I sew very simple clothes for children for the company and receive a small income. I am still trying my best to improve and promote myself and want to open my own business in the future. I also started to sew clothes for my neighbors who come to me to tailor their dresses. In this way, I have built a reputation among the neighboring houses and gain income from this. I thank Professor Sakena Yacoobi and my tailoring teacher who helped me keep my home together. I hope every poor woman will to be able to learn at your centers."
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AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) offer a variety of classes. One of the most popular classes offered is tailoring because women need a means to reduce household expenses and to earn money. So far in 2018, 2,108 females have studied tailoring in Herat LCs and 851 in LCs in Kabul and other provinces.
Halima is a graduate of the sewing class. "I am a young girl. My family are very poor. My father is the only one earning money for the family. But now with my sewing skills I can make clothes for our family. I can also earn money sewing for other people. I can help my father with household expenses. My life has come out of darkness because of AIL and the sewing class.”
Thank you for your interest in Afghan women and the challenges they face.
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AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give refugee and Internally Displaced Persons the opportunity to learn many subjects. They often start out with tailoring/sewing and Fast Track Literacy classes, then as their confidence grows they take on new challenges. One of the most popular classes offered is tailoring because these refugee women need to earn money. So far in 2018, 1,054 females (491 adolescents) are studying tailoring in Herat LCs and 376 in LCs in Kabul and other provinces.
AIL tailoring students are grateful to be able to learn a useful skill which they will use to make clothing for their families, saving money and to earn money as a small business. Some students are able to fast track through tailoring class and become excellent tailors very quickly. They gain a skill but also a sense of accomplishment in completing the course and now being able to contribute to the economic situation of the family by starting a small home business.
AIL encourages students to be resourceful and to recycle items when possible. “The sewing class teacher at one center told her students to bring plastics, for use as a lesson material, from home. They used the plastic to cut out colored patterns from it. They can keep the patterns and use them repeatedly during the sewing course. Using the free materials to make useful patterns is really noteworthy idea for both teachers and students.”
Learning an income generating skill helps with family finances but also raises women’s self- esteem and their standing within the family. Husbands appreciate their wives ability to learn new skills even at an older age and are now seen as able to help with the family economics.
Thank you for your interest in Afghan women and the challenges they face.
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