May 1st - 13th - Give a lasting Mother's Day Gift!
By Elizabeth Appleyard | Program Officer
Special campaign running through 13th May! Donate to our project in honor of the mothers in your life, and help poor Afghan women in the challenges they face.
New recurring donations (4 months active) get 100% match up to $200. All gifts in the campaign help us qualify for $1,000 bonus prize!
Herat’s 30 Learning Centers (LCs) give women the opportunity to learn many subjects. One of the most popular is literacy. So far in 2018, 3,335 students are studying literacy in Herat (2,190 are female).
One center reported that, “One of our Literacy Class graduates started her own literacy class in her home. A number of neighborhood illiterate girls joined the class and she teaches them what she learned doing the course at the center. She is very happy in her new life as a teacher. She said it is the result of the efforts of those who taught her and Dr. Yacoobi and AIL for founding centers that provide such opportunity to people. “I was able to help myself and now can teach others to read and write. I am learning more and study to a higher level so I can help others do the same.”
Learning to read is life changing for women as it helps them with daily tasks and social interaction as well as improving their self- esteem and their standing in the family and with their husbands. It is the gateway skill that leads to learning in other subjects and the development of the capacity to maintain a small income generating business.
Thank you for your continued interest.
AIL is working towards: SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
From the beginning Dr. Yacoobi realized that empowering women required a multi-faceted approach. She set up educational opportunities but combined this with health care and health education. Decades later that philosophy holds true and along with its Learning Centers program AIL has 4 fixed site health clinics, as well as outreach health units at three Learning Centers and at an orphanage and street children facility. AIL’s Herat health program also supports 14 Community Health Workers (CHWs) posts. The health program treated 231,554 patients in 2017 and gave health education lessons to 174,466 people.
We thought you would be interested to read Dr. Yacoobi’s thoughts on the effectiveness of the AIL health education program. She often visits the clinics to assess how things are going and to meet both staff and patients. After a recent visit she had this to say, “I see that people are much healthier and they are eating nutritious foods. They are taking care of their hygiene and that of their children. Even though they are poor and not able to afford meat, they have learned how to combine different legumes and vegetables to get all the vitamins and minerals and protein they need for a balanced diet. The result is they are living healthier lives. The people have also learned about all aspects of reproductive health; how having fewer children is better and to space out births. This leads to a better economic situation for the whole family with enough resources to go round and for all to lead a better life. Women learn about safe pregnancy and birth practices so the risks are reduced for mothers and babies.”
Thank you for your interest in our work.
SDG Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.
SDG Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
As the year draws to a close we reflect on what we have done and how this has changed lives for the better. AIL’s Learning Centers (LCs) give women the opportunity to learn, to network with other women and to gain both knowledge and capacity. So far in 2017, 23,054 students (15,474 female) have attended 6 month courses at 43 LCs mainly in Herat and Kabul locations but also in other provinces. Many students have attended workshops on leadership, health and other topics.
Stories are the best way for us to show how you help poor Afghans improve their lives and communities. Here is one of our favorites from the Leadership Workshops: “My name is Sughra. Since I was born, my country, Afghanistan, has been at war. For several years I was a refugee with my family in Iran. When we returned, we went to live in Herat because our village in the mountains had been destroyed. I was not active in this new place and I was very depressed. When I faced problems, I could not solve them. It was very frustrating.
Then, one day, everything changed for me! I was invited to go to a leadership workshop led by the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). I learned about many ways to be a leader—in my home, family, community and nation. I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I had learned that anyone could be a leader, and I began to change. My family and friends saw changes in my behavior and ideas and soon I became a trusted member of my community. I decided that I needed to do something more so I went back to my family village, and I opened a Learning Center for women and children in my home province in the central mountains of Afghanistan. I then asked for support for salaries for our teachers from AIL, and they came and saw what I was doing and supported me. Since then AIL has trained me to hold leadership workshops, and now I am training others in my province to be leaders.”
Thank you for your interest in our work. Please read the 2017 Newsletter from CHI featuring AIL.
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