AIL is starting the year with more good news than bad. We are still in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. On one hand, the banks are open. On the other hand, shortages abound. AIL was not ready for mass aid. Still, we are happy to report we have been able to distribute food, medicine, clothes, and water to thousands of families. For millions of Afghan’s sleeping on the streets, the harsh winter is a risk to their lives. Sleeping 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. We will get there.
Displaced people come to AIL from far and near as they hear we are trusted within the community. We have never seen so many outside our own gates, because we have never had a crisis of this magnitude. Orphan street children and widows with children make up the majority of the residents in our new tent cities. All of them now left with nothing and no one.
AIL Schools Flourish in the New Year!
For some good news, our girls are happy to be in our schools! Each New Year brings hope, and this year is no exception. With male and female teachers in AIL schools, the girls continue to attend classes. Emirate leadership has kept their word to us and we are grateful.
Our older girls have been able to attend Women’s Centers. There are a higher number of women attending also. Many come for food or medicine. Then, 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. AIL 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.
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. AIL is happy to begin our teacher training programs as soon as possible, as the critical shortage of teachers affects us all. Our training standards are high and our reforms have benefited the entire country for over twenty years. Together, we can create the next generation of teachers. AIL is committed to education in Afghanistan. Teacher training is the foundation of all education.