Sewing is a life changing skill for Afghan women. When they have learned to sew they are able to sew clothes for the family saving money and they can take in work as a seamstress earning income. Families do better when someone has good sewing skills. Literacy and sewing are two of the most requested classes at AIL’s 43 Learning Centers.
As an example, one rural Herat center had the following classes during one month. This center has 563 students (530 female). There are 227 students studying Arabic (208 female), 88 females doing sewing and 175 (164 female) in literacy classes and 73 females in embroidery class. The students also learn about health, peace, democracy and any current topics of interest that the teachers wish to address in class.
The manager reported last month, “As the number of applicants is increasing we are looking at having more classes. The students are mainly young girls most of them want to learn sewing and to become literate so they are applying for those classes most often.”
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AIL is working towards:
SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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Updates from programs!
Girls team wins Technovation Challenge with Education App! Professor Sakena Yacoobi High School , Herat has won first place in the girls Technovation Challenge competition creating mobile phone applications. The 5 girl team beat 36 other teams from Afghanistan with their education app Amozgar, that teaches literacy. Sponsored by AIL, they worked on this project for 3 months creating an app with the alphabet with audio and words and sentences. Their message, “With Amozgar we change homes into schools.” The team and their app now move on to the semi- final round of judging with 100 teams from around the world. Six finalists will be picked from this round to compete for the final prize.
Radio Meraj wins more Top Awards in Media in Western Afghanistan! The Afghanistan Institute for Research and Studies held a contest for 161 media outlets. Meraj was permitted to enter 3 categories and won all 3! Meraj won best news package, best analysis and speakers, and best innovative programming. In addition, a photographer working with AIL won the best photography prize for one of his AIL photographs. The competition attracted media outlets from all over the western zone including the well- known stations that have been operating for decades. Meraj’s success is remarkable in that it has been in operation for only two years yet won awards usually associated with stations of 5 plus years of experience. It won the most awards among all the existing media. Radio Meraj is many years ahead of its strategic plan and has gained popular and professional credibility and success making it one of the top three Herat stations. The station operates 20 hours a day reaching 9 out of the 15 districts of Herat.
We are delighted to let you know that an AIL project has been selected as one of only six projects in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund! The project is 921 Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women. This project will receive one sixth of the donations made during the rest of this year to this special fund!
We would not have been selected for this opportunity without the support we received in the month of March from many donors such as yourselves. Great team effort! Thank you!
The sewing students are grateful to be able to learn a useful skill which they will use to earn money and to make clothing for their families. In March, 12 Herat area Learning Centers provided sewing classes to a total student body of 852 females who were taking courses that varied in length from 6 to 12 months long. In March, the Kabul centers had 375 females enrolled in sewing classes.
Recently, AIL purchased a batch of 14 new sewing machines for its centers after a successful fundraising effort. The students were pleased to have new equipment as some of the old machines were less than reliable after years of use.
“My name is Fatema. I am a student of the sewing class. Prior to attending the sewing class at this LC, I took sewing classes elsewhere. I use to have to pay fees and I did not know how to sew well. After attending classes here, I am able to sew different kinds of clothes. I am grateful for this LC and Professor Sakena Yacoobi.”
Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the women who rely on them.
When a community asks for AIL to set up a Learning Center (LC) it is a requirement that the community are supportive of the idea both theoretically and practically. Centers only request what they want and can sustain. One of the most popular classes requested is sewing. Only with community involvement will these poorly educated or illiterate women be able to achieve success in learning new skills. Here is the story of how one community supported its center and its women in 2016.
“One of the local people who lives near the center is called Khalil. He has helped the center a lot. The center did not have a telephone line and we had internet problems so Khalil voluntarily gave his house phone line to the center and helped by holding internet classes and seminars and these continue today. Another man named Naser who has a house on the same road has helped too. He offered to put the course’s advertisement board on the roof of his home because it would be seen more easily. The board is still there today. One of the other neighbors allowed the center to use his house's wall as a board and to advertise its programs. Other families gifted useful informative books in Arabic to help students learn the language.
Herat's Education Department cooperated with the center and provided the opportunity for the center to introduce its programs to the girls' high schools. From the other side of things 4 high schools assisted the center in showing its activities.”
This is truly a community effort! This operational approach is what creates sustainable opportunity for poor women who are eager to learn sewing skills so they can earn money. In 2016, 16,197 females attended LCs under AIL management in Herat and Kabul Province and Peshawar, Pakistan. 2,222 women attended sewing classes during the year in Kabul and in December Herat reported that 812 women were in sewing classes, 11 carpet weaving, 76 weaving, 12 roman dozy and 68 in embroidery.
See our year end newsletter. Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the women who rely on them.
Today is #GivingTuesday! $500,000 in Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on GlobalGiving.
50% match up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization while funds last. In addition, new recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday. Hurry up and donate!..Read our report below.
Sewing is one of those gateway skills for women in Afghanistan. Once they learn sewing then a doorway is opened for them. They can help their family finances by sewing their own clothes and start a small business sewing for others.
What it also means is that these women recover their self- esteem and identity as individuals who can learn, contribute and be part of society. Your support helps the 1,017 women who are learning sewing and changing their lives.
Here is a story from one center,” One of our sewing class students was absent from class for a long time. When we investigated we found that her family didn’t allow her to come to the Learning Center. When we talked with her family they said that she can’t learn anything and her mind is not working. So the supervisor met her family and convinced them that she can learn and will be able to achieve a lot at the center. Now she is coming to center and studying and becoming a skilled person. She is very enthusiastic and thankful to AIL staff for supporting her and talking with her family.
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