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.
We are so pleased with the results and the transformation of young girl's minds when they attend the Leadership Workshops. A young villager girl, who was a participant in one of AIL’s Leadership Workshops in 2011 said the following:
“Before I participated in the leadership workshop, I was not interested in what was going on in my country. Since attending the workshop, I now listen to the news, not only about Afghanistan, but I also like to learn what is happening around the world. Now I think about things like the presidential election and I try to make other girls and women at my school think about political activities and ways to help our people. During the night, when I go to bed, I ask myself who I was before and how I have suddenly changed. I was the kind of person that lived under the restriction of my parents, but now, not only have I changed the minds of my parents, but also many other girls listen to me and I can lead them in any direction I want.”
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 Global Giving, give early on March 14th. Thank you!
The Afghan Institute of Learning is well on its way to meet (and in some cases surpass) the goals set forth in this project. During the first quarter of the project [July 1, 2011 – September 30, 2011], AIL provided health services to 15,189 adolescent girls, and health education to 32,956 adolescent girls.
On average, 3,393 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 were attending classes at the AIL Learning Centers each month.
44 adolescent girls have attended leadership workshops during this quarter, and AIL is setting up future workshops specifically aimed at this age group.
We are pleased to let you know that this project has been chosen as part of the Girl Effect Fund. Thank you all so very much for your support.
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