Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves
Help Afghan Communities Help Themselves

The Afghan Institute of Learning’s grassroots efforts have certainly paid off over the last 16 years.  AIL has been able to reach more than 9 million people during that time.  The learning center model has been successful in providing education to Afghan Women and Children. 

Recently, we have been updating our projects on GlobalGiving and realized that a few of the projects were overlapping.  We have chosen to close this project as we are receiving funding from other GlobalGiving projects and from other grants.  If you are inclined to continue to support the Afghan Institute of Learning, we would like to refer you to Project #1155 titled Fast Tracking Education for Afghan Women and Girls or Project #921 titled Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women.  We very much appreciate your past kindness and generosity.  Thank you.

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Since 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has been helping Afghans lift themselves above the devastation of war by providing education, training, health care, and health education.  AIL’s approach is to interlink health and education programs, like building blocks that together form a whole structure.  While delivering these basic services AIL has also been able to promote critical thinking skills and model and teach human rights, women’s rights, peace, democracy, and leadership. With new skills and information, Afghans are becoming empowered and hopeful. Through your financial support, you have been a part of these seeds of systemic change.

 Through the natural progression that exists when people begin to think for themselves, AIL often receives requests from Afghans who want to find ways to work together to promote love, understanding, and forgiveness to their people in order to return to a peaceful way of life; the way of their country’s history.  Supported by Fetzer Institute,  AIL is responding to these requests by holding an International Conference on Love and Forgiveness this Spring that will be shared throughout the country and internationally via film.  This conference will focus on the study of Afghan poets and musicians, particularly the work of Mawlana (Rumi).  Participating in the conference will be poets, writers, Sufis and government representatives from all parts of Afghanistan and the world.

 Joining the Conference, in person, or via film or writings, are:

  • Poet Coleman Barks; known as the pre-eminent translator of Rumi, the great 13th century poet and teacher.  Mr. Barks’ writings and translations have filled 15 books that are more popular than other renderings of these ancient words.  They make Rumi’s raptures accessible to the world beyond their creation.
  • Stephen Olsson, President of CEM Productions, has produced and directed documentary films, television series and feature news reports throughout the world for US and European broadcasters.  He also produced and directed: Afghanistan: The Fight For A Way of Life, which was broadcast throughout the world and cited by The New York Times as one of the best documentary films of the year.
  • Divine Mother Audrey Kitagawa, a former attorney, practiced in Honolulu for twenty years, and became the spiritual leader of The Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family, a worldwide community based in Hawaii. Divine Mother Audrey is a prolific writer on matters of spirituality and multiculturalism and serves on many global, spiritual and UN advisory boards, including as Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

 AIL invites you to join Afghans in thought and through your own study of music and poetry that brings us all closer to the peaceful world we endeavor to achieve.

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One of the workshops that the Afghan Institute of Learning offers is a five day training in Leadership Skills.  This workshop is in high demand from the residents in the areas where AIL works.  We recently received a number of stories from these workshops and I wanted to share one with you to show you how individuals are helping their neighbors in an effort to improve their society.

 “I am a house wife and I consider myself a servant to my family. After I joined Leadership Workshop, I knew the meaning of Leadership. I, who do the house chores at home, guide my children and am as supportive of a person to my husband as I can be, can be a leader. One of the activities I did after joining the Workshop was to begin a proper relationship with the women residents of the area who are deprived of education. I guided through the themes of the Workshop as I invited them into my house and discussed the workshop’s topics with them. This is very important for social life. I also talked to them about parent’s rights, children rights, and education rights. Furthermore, I mentioned that the parents’ rights should be implemented by children and as well children rights should be implemented by their parents. One of the basic rights of children from their parents is the right to education. The parents should know that only joining school isn’t sufficient for children. To raising their knowledge level they should also join some educational courses. My advice to these parents was to have the children spend less time on street where the children waste both their time and money, and instead to register their children in educational courses in order to know that they are safe and also may utilize their money for something positive. Also, I asked the women if they need a loan and said that when they earned the money to pay me back they should return it after a specific period of time. I gave some needy women loans. The needy woman registered their children in Math and English courses. The children not only finished school with high marks but also received good results from the course as well. Most of these students were hired as teacher in courses. Through their earning, they supported their family as well as returned the loan so most of the family’s problems were likely solved. I have been a leader in my area and through my leadership I could save the future of many children.”

 Please keep in mind that Wednesday, March 14, 2012 is Bonus Day through GlobalGiving.  Donations up to $1,000.00 will be provided with a 30% match.  The bonus allotment is $50,000.00 and the period runs from 12:01 AM EST until the funds are exhausted.  So, if you would like your donation to go a little further with the help of GlobalGiving, give early on March 14th.  Thank you!

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It is so exciting to see the Afghan people transitioning back to independence.  Although we realize that it is a long road, we are pleased with the information that we receive from the Learning Centers that AIL is working with.  All of the Learning Centers are continuing to attract students because of the quality of the education and the variety of the classes being offered. 

In one Learning Center near Herat City, the Center leaders have initiated two projects on their own this year.  The Center and community needed a library, so the center applied to a small grants program, received funding and have now opened the first public library in their village.  This same center has many students who have graduated from the tailoring classes and started their own businesses.  Because of the high quality of the tailoring and the number of women tailors, the center was able to negotiate a contract with a local company to have the center's graduates sew uniforms for the company.  Now even more women are earning income for their families using a skill they learned at the AIL Learning Center.

Progress is being made – and hopes are high.  Most importantly, the center initiated the projects without AIL"s assistance--they just used the leadership skills they had learned from AIL training!!!

Thank you for helping with this progress!

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AIL Herat reports that between 150 and 370 persons used the library for research and study monthly in July, August and September.  Students from the Professor Sakena Yacoobi Private School in Herat visited the library during this time.  Ten additional books were donated during the period.

Another AIL Project, “Transform Lives of 70,000 Afghan Adolescent Girls” has been chosen to be part of the Girl Effect Challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 15, 2011.  Approximately 60 projects have been included in this challenge.  The top six projects with the highest number of unique donations will become part of the Girl Effect Fund for one year and each is expected to earn an additional $25,000.  Please check out our project #8791, and thank you for your generous support of our programs!

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

Location: Dearborn, Michigan - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AIL_ngo
Project Leader:
carolyn dunlap
Dearborn, Michigan United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 50 donors like you, a total of $4,833 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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