Tailoring: A Small-Business Skill for Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Dear Friends, 

Matching funds are available for donations made to all Creating Hope International and Afghan Institute of Learning projects on Global Giving. 

TODAY ONLY 9am ET to midnight March 16th! Donate anytime within these hours,up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization. 

Here are links to our projects on Global Giving: CHI projects and AIL projects.

All donations are final.  The match is pro-rated so we will know the percentage of match at the end of the day, but everyone gets some matching funds from a pot of $75,000.

Special Alert!!  Two of our projects are eligible for 2 different matching funds  TODAY! 

Donations to these two projects get a 50% match under the Safer World Fund AND a  match on this March 16th Bonus Day!!  Check the SWF leaderboard! SWF allows matching by unique donors up to $1,500 per donor per project with project max of $15,000 in matching. 

1073 Save Rural Afghan Women and Children with Healthcare

1155 Fast Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls 

AIL has started the year 2016 with a full roster of education classes in many subjects as diverse as, literacy, English, carpet weaving, computers and physics. In the month of January, there were 9,682 students (6,132 female) in classes at 42 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and 1 LC in Pakistan.  The health program has provided 19,226           patients with treatment and given health education to 11,854 people. Here is a story:

“My name is Somayeah and my twin sister is Masomah. We live in a poor family and we are both interested in learning, but we always missed the chance to study because people were laughing at us. Fortunately AIL’s teachers promoted self-confidence and self-esteem in us with great advice. Now we are happy and no longer ashamed. Our minds changed since attending AIL’s literacy and sewing classes. We also found out about the dignity of women in the community and we are proud to be twins. We also made very good educational decisions about our future.” 

Your donation will help AIL continue its valuable work providing education and healthcare, emergency relief and legal aid to poor Afghans. 

Thank you.

Dear Friends,

Sewing is a skill for life. One of AIL’s goals is to equip people with skills they will need and use for life such as literacy and math. Sewing gives women the opportunity of independence and takes pressure off household finances.

In 2015, there were 3,568 women in sewing classes at the 43 Learning Centers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, AIL had crochet classes for 372 women and another 60 women learned how to do embroidery.

Sarah who lives at the Girls Orphanage and attends the Learning Center located there had this to say. “I am one of the students of the sewing class. I was six years old when I was brought here because my father died so my mother had to give me to the orphanage. Every student here feels the lack of the kindness and love of a father and mother at first, but soon after time passes you become relaxed and continued living in the orphanage. Dr. Yacoobi has educational classes here  so I attended the sewing class. At first, I knew nothing about sewing and as our teacher was encouraging me, I learned all the rules of sewing. Now I can sew everything for my roommate, friends and myself and after graduating from the orphanage I will be an independent person and able to pay my expenses and help other orphan girls in the community. During these last two years I have changed a lot. I learned to be responsible about my life affairs and study hard to live in comfort.” 

Please read the attached CHI 2015 Newsletter featuring AIL for information on activities last year.Thank you for your support.


Latest News!!

Dr. Yacoobi was honored to receive the 2015 WISE Prize for Education. A prestigious award given to those who are tireless advocates for the right to education.  “I know from my life that education gives power, status and opportunity. I see women who are smart, intelligent but did not have opportunity so I gave them that. It is education and not guns that can transform society and give us a peaceful tomorrow. “ Sakena  

Dear Friends,

Learning an income generating skill such as sewing transforms the lives of women and gives them confidence. They contribute to the family finances and their status in the family is increased. Thank you for your support of AIL’s sewing and tailoring classes. In September, there were 887 women and girls enrolled in sewing classes learning to make clothes for themselves, their families and for others. Here is Fatima’s story – one of transformation.

Fatima was brought to the girls’ orphanage in Herat when she was about 8 years old by her relatives.  Both of her parents had died and she had no brothers or sisters.  She was very unhappy and devastated when she came.  She went to school and, when AIL began working with the girls’ orphanage and offering computer and tailoring classes in the afternoon, she joined them.  She is now in the 8th grade and has excellent computer and tailoring skills.  She works for a small NGO in Herat teaching their students tailoring and doing their computer work.  They are paying her so she has begun to earn money for herself.  All of this has transformed her!  She is happy, always helping the younger students with their homework and is looking forward to finishing high school, going to university and becoming a teacher.

Thank you for your continued support of AIL’s programs.

Dear Friends,

Bonus Day September 16th!  30% matching funds available for this project!

Can you help?

Donate between 9am- midnight ET September 16th and get a 30% match up to $1,000 per donor per organization! The funds will go quickly!

Thank you for your support of AIL’s efforts to teach women and girls sewing and tailoring skills. During the month of July, there were more than 800 women and girls enrolled in the Afghan Institute of Learning’s sewing and tailoring courses. 

In our classes, the students learn sewing and tailoring of course, but they also learn to make their own patterns and designs, as well as basic business skills to help these women and girls start earning an income. Many of the women and girls choose to take literacy classes while they are taking their sewing course, and this combination gives students a chance at a better life.

One student story is that of Azita.

Some years ago, Azita began studying at one of AIL’s rural centers. There were no schools for girls in her area, so her uncle encouraged her to begin attending the AIL Learning Center that he supervised. She began taking sewing and tailoring classes at the center and also decided to study in the literacy class.  She quickly learned tailoring but it was clear early on that Azita was a very bright young woman. She was the top student in her class, quickly progressing to the fourth level of the literacy . While she was taking classes, things were changing; a local school opened and was looking for teachers. “I heard that the regular school in the village needed teachers,” Azita says, “so I took the exam for teachers and I passed! I was soon hired to be a teacher at the school. I began teaching the younger grades while still taking classes at the AIL Learning Center. One day I decided to take the exam to attend the high school courses at the regular school where I was teaching and I was accepted into the 9th grade.”

“My parents saw my amazing progress and made the decision to send me to the large city to live with an uncle so that I could have a better opportunity to continue my education. Now I am in one of the top high schools in the city, and I am the top student in my class. I help my uncle’s family around the house, and once a month I return to my village to visit my family. They are so proud of me and how educated I am, and it is all because of the AIL Learning Center in my village. It changed the direction of my life completely.”

Today Azita is a sophomore studying English at a university in Afghanistan, where she has made a number of new friends. She is also a part time English teacher at a school near her university. She is involved in activities on campus including being a member of a student council and is on the staff of the university’s magazine. She continues to attend AIL workshops as she is able, and is even taking an advanced computer course.

When asked about the way that education has impacted her life, Azita said, “I enjoy living and my work today, and that is because of the education I have received. I started with sewing, but look what happened!!!  I have decided that I want to be a good teacher to help the women from my village to become capable and to change their lives for the better. I do not want to see them suffer disappointment and depression. I plan to be a leader for the women of my village, and to defend their rights in the community. I have  great ambition for my people, and for my own life, and I would like to thank AIL for changing my life.” 

Thank you for your continued support of AIL’s programs, and of women like Azita. We appreciate your generous donations.

Students in an AIL Program
Students in an AIL Program
Dear Friends, 
Thank you so much for all of your support of the Afghan Institute of Learning! We value your support and are grateful to you for taking an interest in those less fortunate in a far off land. You are helping to improve the lives of thousands of Afghans each year through our health, education and training programs. We are writing today to share our annual report with you, highlighting the many achievements of AIL and the impact on the lives of beneficiaries that you have supported. We hope that you will take a few minutes to view the report by clicking the link below and learn about the many ways you helped Afghans through AIL's innovative programming.



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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

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

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