Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
Since 1995, AIL has trained 16,000 teachers in pedagogy, work skills and health topics, and nearly 3.5 million students have benefitted from this teacher training. AIL has supported a total of 315 Education Learning Centers (ELCs), providing education to over 234,000 women and children. The goal with AIL support of an ELC is eventual self-sufficiency and 90% of AIL’s ELCs have achieved self-sufficiency.
In 2009, there were 22,765 students in AIL supported schools and Educational Learning Centers, with the majority being Afghan women and girls. Participation in literacy classes has been steadily in decline each year, as Afghans learn to read and then move on to advanced classes, such as computer training. In 2009, 2,759 AIL students attended computer training classes and over 200 students had completed their university degree in computer science.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Afghanistan is an Islamic republic whose population is approximately 32 million. Women in Afghanistan are an estimated 48.8% of the total population.
Adult literacy fell in Afghanistan from 28.7 % in 2003 to 23.5 % in 2005. Only 23.5 % of the population 15 and older can read and write. More shocking, only an estimated 12.6 % of women are literate, compared to 32.4 % of men.
Many Afghan cities and towns are rural; the majority of these have either no or limited electricity. It is culturally inappropriate for females to interact on certain levels with males, and females often have to obtain permission from male family members to go to school or work.
For Afghan women to express their thoughts and opinions in a world forum via the web, the first step was literacy. Then an introduction to computers and the necessary technological training is necessary, including such basics as keyboarding. THEN these women need access to a place where the required technology is available- newer computers that have the speed to process graphics and html coding, and internet access. In modern countries, internet access is a given. In Afghanistan, it is both expensive and a rare commodity.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?
AIL was one of the first non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Pakistan to offer computer training.
When AIL created the Gawhar Shad University in Pakistan for secondary education, Computer Science became one of three educational tracks for students to obtain a degree.
All three AIL offices (including Pakistan) offer computer training; for Afghan women and government officials.
Educational Learning Centers (ELCs) have been established in rural and outlying areas. Those ELCs with electricity have offered computer training classes.
AIL has been able to: obtain additional newer computers, train teachers, buy generators to make electricity, purchase satellite dishes and pay for monthly Internet service fees.
Women from AIL are participating online with www.worldpulse.com, a website that looks at global issues through the eyes of women.
AIL is currently working with New Global Citizens to arrange communication with Afghan and American high school students.
Within a few years, Afghan women have gone from being illiterate to communicating with other women world-wide. AIL’s systematic approach combining literacy with technology has allowed this.
Our biggest challenge is funding. We have the funds to maintain our programs, but would need additional funds to expand. There are still many thousands of women who have no resources and are not being served.
Lack of electricity and lack of access to the internet in many parts of Afghanistan are other obstacles to expanding AIL’s computer program.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Through AIL, tens of thousands of Afghan women and girls have learned to read. Many have gone on to higher levels of education. Many have become teachers and continue the education cycle.
Many have learned skills to earn an income, such as tailoring or computer technology. Government workers have taken AIL computer classes to advance their careers.
A good example of the impact of AIL’s integrated approach is the Jabreel ELC. AIL started supporting this educational learning center November 2004 with 485 existing students. There were basic classes in literacy, sewing and English. By June 2009, Jabreel had 1080 students with 3 computer classes and 7 literacy classes. Now Jabreel has women participating in online discussions with other women.
Atifa, an accountant at AIL, had this to share at www.worldpulse.com: “Afghan women are powerful- if they want they can change their life by seeking good education. An educated woman will reach to her real place. If she is a mother her children will respect her … If she is a sister, she is seeking peace and dignity for her brothers … My Hope is that Afghan women could play their role in building up an Islamic Society by getting education.”
In the first year we expect that at least 20,000 additional women and children will receive education and that at least 10% of them will have computer training and at least 2 more Centers will have a computer center available.
In the second year we expect that at least 20,000 additional women and children will receive education and that at least 15% of them will have computer training and at least 2 more Centers will have a computer center available.
In the third year we expect that at least 20,000 additional women and children will receive education and that at least 20% of them will have computer training and at least 2 more Centers will have a computer center available.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).