Tailoring: A Small-Business Skill for Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Nov 14, 2012

Sewing Leads to Literacy

Thank you for your support of AIL’s project. While the situation in Afghanistan continues to prove challenging, with your help AIL is finding ways to continue bringing high quality education to the women of Afghanistan. 

Forty-six sewing and tailoring courses are being taught to 868 students at nineteen centers. During one month, the sewing students at one of AIL’s centers were able to produce 60 women’s dresses, 15 skirts, 107 head coverings, 111 blouses, and various men’s clothing for a total of 873 different items. 

For many of the students, the road to literacy begins with sewing. AIL has found that while many families might not be comfortable with their female relatives studying subjects traditionally taught in schools for fear that they go against the family’s values, they are comfortable allowing the women and girls to take classes in sewing and tailoring. After the girls begin attending classes, the family is able to see that AIL is a trustworthy organization, one that respects Afghan culture while educating students.

My name is Zeba. My parents are very restrictive and thus I couldn’t go to school and get an education. At home I weave rugs with my sisters. I heard about the good work that AIL does, and told my parents of it. They allowed me to join a sewing class at the center. Soon after I joined a literacy class. Now I can sew, read and write. I am so thankful for my teachers who help Afghan women and girls, and for the Afghan Institute of Learning. 

In other cases, the sewing classes provide women with a way to improve their family’s economic situation. The women are able to sew clothing to sell as well as being able to alter clothing for others. This is a great way for women to help provide for their family.

One of AIL’s supervisors recently checked on one of AIL’s sewing classes and said the following: We are very happy with the sewing classes. The teaching has been very good, and now the students can sew very well. Many are able to sew their own clothes. During the past two months, there were two students who could not sew anything, but now they can sew many things. They have become good tailors, and are very thankful to teachers and for their sewing classes. All of the sewing students are very glad that AIL is offering these classes for women; they are very happy they have the chance to learn sewing and other subjects. 

Don’t forget!  The holidays are a great time to share your passion for AIL and the great work that they do! GlobalGiving offers gift certificates which can be used to donate to AIL’s projects. Also, beginning December 1st, the initial donation made by recurring donors will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving. There is only $25,000 available in matching funds, so help AIL take advantage of this opportunity early!


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

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

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.