Girls in an AIL center
AIL is committed to changing the lives of the underserved in Afghanistan and the Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan. One of our target groups is adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19. In a sample month from 2012, approximately 54% of Learning Center students were in this age group. These young people are eager to learn and receptive to new ideas. Programming aims to intervene at this critical stage to set them on the path of life long learning, engaging them in critical thinking and developing reasoning, logic and self confidence. In addition, they need to be healthy and to understand how to take care of their health so the healthcare program is also part of the difference AIL makes.
The topics covered at Learning Centers and through the workshop program are varied from academic, such as Arabic, English, Math to income generating such as silk weaving, embroidery and capacity building such as peace, leadership, democracy, health and human rights. Learning is life changing as evidenced by these comments from participants in a Leadership Workshop:
Shima “I disliked being a woman before I attended the workshop. I always thought women were useless creatures. But my mind has completely changed now and I am proud of being a woman. I believe I can be beneficial for my community.”
Laila “I always thought there was no difference between men and women. I had never dared to do something on my own. But now I want to make my own choices. I want to reach my goals even more and I am sure I can benefit my community.”
Most people in the developed world grow up with some expectations placed on them with regard to education, at least to be able to read and write. Many young girls in Afghanistan grow up without even this hope for their development. AIL changes this by offering classes and training and by addressing personal development issues such as self esteem, finding a voice, confidence and finding ones place in the world , as well as providing quality healthcare and health education.
Thank you for your support for these young women as they grow in the world and find their place and their role in bettering their community.