In our last report, I mentioned AIL’s Leadership seminars being in high demand. The results that we are seeing from these seminars are astounding. The women who are attending are not only improving their own lives, but also working to improve their neighbors and communities. Here is an example:
“I am now a woman with high education. I have many economic problems, but I couldn’t work out of home to earn anything. The low salary of my husband couldn’t solve our problems. After joining the Leadership Workshop, I learned that I have to be aware of my abilities. I should attend some courses in order to provide services to both my family and my people. One of the participants in Leadership Workshop guided me to attend a Sewing Course so I attended the course and learned sewing. I sewed cloth and sold it. With my earnings I could buy a sewing machine. Then I established a sewing course. I taught some students who were mostly illiterate girls and women. Now all of them are intelligent and talented tailors and spend their life sewing and earning respectfully.”
It is so exciting to watch the expansion of women’s thoughts in Afghanistan. By offering an education to them, their thirst for knowledge just keeps growing. At every village that AIL is invited into to start a program or offer a workshop, we see the women requesting more and more information. They consistently ask for other workshops and seminars to be made available to them – and to others in their communities.
It appears that once you offer a person a chance to become literate – they just want to continue learning. These women in the AIL learning centers request more classes including skill classes such as sewing, computers, calligraphy, painting, drawing – and subject classes such as English, science and math. In addition, as word spreads about leadership seminars, AIL receives more and more requests to offer their programs in more communities. These women want to improve their lives and their communities and see their Country flourish.
The main focus of the Afghan Institute of Learning is to educate and provide health care and health education to women and children in order to promote a healthy, promising, bright and peaceful society. Students at the AIL Learning Centers know that continuing their education is important for their own future and for the future of their communities, and they are filled with hope and dreams of a better tomorrow. Pari, a student at the Zarghoona Ana Learning Center believes that she will continue her education. She presently takes classes in literacy and sewing. She dreams that she will one day become a great tailor and be in a position to do great things for her people. She hopes to then teach others how to sew so that they too will be able to prosper.
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!
Azada, is one Afghan woman who says she is thankful for the AIL Learning Centers. She said, “I had an illiterate family. My husband and my grandmother had very old ideas. One day, I asked my husband if it is possible for me to go to a learning center. Unfortunately, my husband was very harsh, and he prevented me from going to school. I repeatedly asked my husband, and finally, he said to me you can go join a course with all of the children. My oldest child was 14, the next 13 and the third was 6. We all went to the center and registered ourselves for different classes. My children and I are now literate. Four people from one family became literate, which shows the impact of AIL activities. They save the lives of families.”
Living in the midst of war, Afghans are looking for opportunities to live life free of daily conflict. In 2010, AIL implemented peace education workshops after hearing requests by people who attended AIL’s leadership workshops which have a peace component. There were 6 peace workshops held for 251 (81% female) participants. 2010 was also an election year in Afghanistan so AIL responded with election related workshops.
These trainings offer quality knowledge to teachers and community members, who in turn impact their students and families well beyond the classroom and the subjects they were taught. The ability for teachers and students to think critically, to ask questions, and to discuss ideas is the foundation for building a new future for Afghanistan.
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