Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning

Dear Friends,

The girls that attend the leadership workshops led by The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) come away knowing they can be leaders.  All do some act of leadership after the workshop.  In the case of Sughra (whose story is below), she followed in the footsteps of Dr. Sakena Yacoobi and has become a Social Entrepreneur!

Before attending AIL workshops and classes, I was not active in my society. I was trying to build my own capacity, but when I faced problems, I was not able to solve them and it was very painful for me. One day I found out that AIL was going to hold a leadership workshop in Herat to empower society members in different fields of life. I participated in the AIL leadership workshop in which they taught us different ways of leadership. After participating in this workshop, I felt a big change in my life; even my colleagues felt changes in my behavior and ideas-- and I became trusted.

 I decided that I needed to do something and I opened a Learning Center for women and children in my home province of Dai Kundi in the central mountains of Afghanistan.  I then asked for support from AIL and they came and saw what I was doing and supported me.  Since then I have also received training to hold leadership workshops and now I am training others in my province to be leaders.


 There are many like Sughra who want to make a difference not just for themselves, but for the country of Afghanistan. Please help us by donating March 1thru March 15, so that this project has the opportunity to be showcased in the Global Giving Girl Fund for 2017. Donate now, tell your friends and family! Give Sughra and the women and girls of Afghanistan a chance to make a difference!

Dear Friends,

When a community asks for AIL to set up a Learning Center (LC) it is a requirement that the community are supportive of the idea both theoretically and practically. Only with community involvement will these poorly educated or illiterate women be able to achieve success in learning new skills. Here is the story of how one community supported its center and its women in 2016.

“One of the local people who lives near the center is called Khalil. He has helped the center a lot. The center did not have a telephone line and we had internet problems so Khalil voluntarily gave his house phone line to the center and helped by holding internet classes and seminars and these continue today. Another man named Naser who has a house on the same road has helped too. He offered to put the course’s advertisement board on the roof of his home because it would be seen more easily. The board is still there today. One of the other neighbors allowed the center to use his house's wall as a board and to advertise its programs. Other families gifted useful informative books in Arabic to help students learn the language.    

Herat's Education Department cooperated with the center and provided the opportunity for the center to introduce its programs to the girls' high schools. From the other side of things 4 high schools assisted the center in showing its activities.”      

This is truly a community effort! This operational approach is what creates sustainable opportunity for poor women. In 2016, 16,197 females who attended LCs under AIL management in Herat and Kabul Province and Peshawar, Pakistan

See our year end newsletter.Thank you for being part of the support for these centers and the women who rely on them.


Dear Friends, 

AIL offers women and girls various courses at its Learning Centers (LCs)   to expand their skills and help them contribute more to their families and communities. These women gain knowledge that improves their lives and that of their families. One of the most popular skills to learn is sewing and currently there are 818 students in sewing classes in Herat. 

Upon completion of a sewing class, students can sew any kind of garment. They can make their own clothes as well as set up a small business making clothes for other people. This helps them become self- supporting and improves the economic situation of their families. As important, is the fact that these women gain self-confidence and see themselves as valuable and able to contribute to society. This sort of skills learning and change in mindset is a success for any LC.  One of students shares her success:“My name is Gul Nisa, I am one of the sewing class students. I learned sewing through AIL’s Learning Center. Today, I can sew dresses for my neighborhood and earn money. I never thought that one day I will be independent and able to help my family. I want to thank AIL for making my dream come true and I hope many future successes for them.” 

A bright and hopeful future for women Afghanistan! Thank you for your continued support of AIL programs. 

Dear Friends, 

TODAY ONLY September 21st-12:00pmET! 30% Matching funds available for donations made to AIL projects on! All donations are final.

Donations up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization may be matched while funds availableThe money runs out fast- so donate now!

The AIL education program is going well and classes are being held at 43 Learning Centers (LCs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including 15 rural centers around Herat.  A diverse range of subjects are offered (though not at every center) including: math, literacy, Arabic, English, sewing, miniature painting, computers and physics. So far 13,888 students (including 9,044 females and 4,844 males) participated in Learning Center education.

The mobile literacy students are creating various types of messages on health, peace, forgiveness, and leadership and life affairs. They are taught the characteristics of a being a contributing member of their community. .Below is the story of one woman,

“My name is Amena. I grew up deprived of a formal education. I usually asked others to dial numbers and make calls for me, even in urgent situations. One day my child became ill with a stomach virus, I had a cell phone but I did not know how to use it properly. I came out of my home and I asked a man who was passing by to make the call. As a result of my lack of knowledge with the phone, my child nearly died. This caused me great distress. Now as a student of the Mobile Literacy Class, I am able to use my cellphone by myself. For example, I learned to dial number, create free text message and send it to the others. I am able to communicate with other women, my relatives, classmates and neighborhood easily. Participating in this class has been a turning point in my life. I appreciate Prof. Sakena Yacoobi as a kind mother who always helps women build their self-worth. “

Your donation will help AIL continue its valuable work providing education and healthcare for women!

Dear Friends,

AIL’s successful Learning Center program helps thousands of women each year. In Herat there are 26 Learning Centers which served 12,546 people in the last six months. This number includes 7,994 women and girls. 9 of the centers are urban and 17 are rural. Most centers are co-ed but there are 3 which serve only females. AIL also has 13 centers in Kabul and other provinces serving 1,307 females including at 6 female only centers.

One of the Herat female only centers is at an orphanage. There are approximately 150 girls (numbers fluctuate as girls age out and new ones arrive) being cared for in the orphanage. Each day AIL staff make sure that the 90 girls who are of age, go to school, and when they return to the orphanage they are offered tutoring. There are cooks who ensure that each girl is given healthy, nutritious food to eat.  Health care is also provided to the girls and health education.

The girls have the opportunity to attend classes offered by AIL after their school day. There are 9 classes taught by 4 AIL teachers at the orphanage. The classes  include Arabic, sewing, computer and English. Twice a year each girl is supplied with cloth and is taught how to make a pattern and sew the cloth into clothing, giving her a skill, which she can use to help earn an income when she leaves the orphanage  and goes out into the world as a young woman. AIL wants every orphan to go out into workplace empowered by self confidence and with skills, especially in literacy and sewing which will help her find work.

Habiba, a young girl that has been raised by the orphanage since she was five years old. In ten years of life she has faced many challenges in her past. She was born into a poor family of 5 members. Her father was killed on a road side bombing when she was 2 years old, and her mother and three of her siblings were working to pay for their livelihood.  To add to her devastation, Habiba’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed as well. Shortly after, her older sister married and Habiba and her brother were brought to the orphanage due to the financial constraints of staying with relatives. At the orphanage she is living like other children having nutritious food, someone to look after her, friends to play with, clothing to wear and a school to learn and grow. Currently a 4th class student, Habiba’s intelligence is evident in her interest in learning computer skills. When we asked her what she thinks about the computer, she answered us in this way: "Computer was a new thing for me and I didn't know it before I saw it the first time. I knew nothing about the keys, the hardware and the software and how to use it. From the day I started, it was amazing for me and I can do many things with it. I can paint, draw, write, read, count and do many things. During the sessions I learned many things and I am not that girl of years ago. I wish I can be an elite student and then an elite person in this country and change the destiny of children like myself. I am going to achieve all my goals by studying and critical thinking. Today my dreams are coming true at AIL orphanage. I am going to change my life."    

Your support makes a difference in the lives of girls like Habiba. Thank you.


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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

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

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