We are starting the year with more good news than bad.. We are still in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. Though the banks have reopened for limited withdrawals, we still need to expand our humanitarian aid infrastructure. AIL was not set up for mass aid, and as we scale up, we are happy to report we have been able to distribute food, medicine, clothes and water to thousands of families. The harsh winter is coming for Afghans, millions of whom are living on the streets, in tents, with nothing, a majority of them are widowed women with children, elderly, and orphans.. With UN and International Red Cross estimates of internal displacement increasing, we are still not at the level we need to be, but we will get there.
Millions of displaced people come to AIL from far and near as they hear that we are trusted within the community. We have never seen so many outside our own gates, many widowed women with small children, and far too many children who have now become orphans, left with nothing and no one.
For some good news, our girls are happy to be in our schools! New leadership has kept their word on allowing girls to attend, as long as taught by female teachers.
Our older girls have been able to attend Women’s Centers. There are a higher number of women attending also, while many come for food or medicine, they stay for job training, English language skills, literacy classes and other programs AIL offers to allow a woman to function independently. We cannot overstate our pride in the strong women of Afghanistan. Our women will not allow themselves to be erased, and we will be there every step of the way to help them.
To date, the Emirate government has kept their promises to AIL and the people of Afghanistan, and we are excited to see their further achievements as the country stabilizes. We appreciate the efforts they are putting into all of the various issues. The former government left a system deeply distrusted by the local people, and it will take time to build a relationship with our citizens. We are happy to continue helping build trust.
We know our nation is better for an educated population and every day of lost learning costs our country dearly. We need all of our youth back in school. We understand there is a teacher shortage, so AIL is happy to begin holding teacher training again as soon as possible. Our training standards are high and our reforms have benefited the entire country for over twenty years. Let us all work together to create the teachers we need so desperately. AIL is committed to education in Afghanistan. As soon as we are able, we will again begin teaching our people to teach our youth.