Afghan Institute of Learning Empowers Afghan Women

by Afghan Institute of Learning
Vetted

Since its beginning, AIL has taken great pains to train our teachers to instruct students using techniques which help the students truly understand their subject instead of just learning by rote. When you speak to the students of these teachers, you can hear that this training is working. Maisam is a 13 year old student at a high school near one of AIL’s rural centers. In addition to her regular school schedule, she is attending the center’s classes in English and Math. Maisam says, “I began taking classes and because of my teacher’s efforts I can now solve very difficult questions and help my friends, sisters and brothers. Before beginning classes at the center, I didn’t know even one word of English. Now I can speak English and it is all due to the efforts of my teacher. I am very thankful to AIL and to my teachers.”

 

Thank you for your donations, which make the training of our wonderful teachers possible, and help create a brighter future for girls like Maisam!

This is the story of a student at the Sar Asia Center in Herat:

 I am 22 years old.  Seven years ago, I came to this Center and studied sewing.  I learned how to sew and the cutting of clothes.  Fortunately, I now have a daily income from sewing clothes.  I can earn 10 dollars per day and my family’s expenditures are 7 dollars every day.  I can save three dollars each day.  In one year I can save 1100 dollars.  This is how I am helping my family.  I continue to come to the Center to attend literacy and Arabic classes.  I am now in the fourth level of literacy.  When I started here, my family did not like the idea, but now they respect me and encourage me.  Recently, I enrolled my mother in literacy classes so that she may also learn.

These kinds of stories touch my heart and give me hope for all women in Afghanistan.  The idea that she is saving money for her future makes me smile and shows me that AIL is helping people lead better lives.

Please remember that Wednesday, June 13th (beginning at 12:01 AM EST) is a Bonus Day through Global Giving.  Donations received that day will be provided a matching gift of 30, 40 or 50 percent.  

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.

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.

Thank you for supporting these women!

 

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Organization Information

Afghan Institute of Learning

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

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