News and Articles
AIL mentioned in New York Times - Nicholas Kristof article - Gifts that reflect the spirit of the season
Afghan Institute of Learning’s Dr.Sakena Yacoobi Wins Opus Prize!
Award to further education, health work for women and children in Afghanistan
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, founder and president of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO dedicated to promoting education, health and culture among women and families in Afghanistan is the recipient of the 2013 Opus Prize. The announcement was made at a ceremony hosted by Georgetown University.
This year’s other two finalists, Fahmina Institute of Cirebon, Indonesia, and Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association of the United States each are receiving $75,000 to advance their work. Fahmina is being recognized for its promotion of an understanding of the Islamic faith dedicated to justice and gender equity; and Sr. Carol for her relentless advocacy in providing affordable healthcare for the poor.
The Afghan Institute of Learning is Afghanistan’s largest women-led NGO. With offices in Kabul and Herat, the organization runs dozens of centers that provide literacy programs, higher education, arts and culture, healthcare and income generating activities. Since 1996, they have supported 342 schools and learning centers. One of the organization’s core programs continues to be teacher training. AIL also recently began supporting of two government-run orphanages in Afghanistan.
In awarding the prize, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said:
“Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has demonstrated an inspiring commitment to the promotion of education and health services for women and children in Afghanistan. She is an eminently deserving recipient of this faith-based humanitarian award—for her disproportionate contributions to the betterment of our global family."
Each year, the Opus Prize honors unsung heroes of any faith tradition with a $1 million award for efforts to solve today's most persistent and pressing global issues, including poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, and injustice. The main prize and awards for the two other finalists are collectively considered one of the largest faith-based humanitarian awards recognizing social innovation in the world.
More information about this year’s winner and finalists is available at: http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/opusprize.
Articles about Opus Prize
George W Bush Institute
Huffington Post Religion
International Business Times
Dr. Yacoobi on Peace is Loud site
Peace is Loud inspires action through media and live events that spotlight women leaders on the frontline of peacebuilding worldwide.
Sakena interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour and receives the Pioneer Award
Millennium Campus Conference at NU article in Boston Globe
Article on Politico.com
Christian Science Monitor article
New article about Dr. Yacoobi - Thomson Reuters Foundation
“Girls were forbidden from getting an education (under the Taliban),” she added. “But when we started offering education to women and girls as well, and people saw that we were creating a safe environment for them and we weren’t imposing anything ... they came.”
Dr. Yacoobi delighted to receive honorary doctoral degree from Princeton University
Fetzer Institute article about AIL Conference on Love and Forgiveness April 2013.
AIL featured on Huffington Post
Under Impact - Women networking
Under Impact - Mobile Literacy
Under Global Motherhood - Education=Healthier country
Dr. Yacoobi was one of the speakers at the DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas in Goa,India. She talked about working with youth to bring change to society through education and teaching them core values. See Goa News article:
Isobel Coleman -( Council on Foreign Relations) praise for Sakena Yacoobi
Hear Dr.Yacoobi on National Public Radio
Interesting article at Poverty Cure about Yacoobi
New article about Yacoobi and AIL on the Take Part website
Half the Sky on PBS
AIL is featured in the book and we are delighted to see this project expand to other media. In October a landmark transmedia project featuring a four-hour PBS primetime national and international broadcast event inspired by inspired by Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, the widely acclaimed book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Dr. Yacoobi featured
Join AIL and other partners of the Half the Sky Movement to help empower women and turn oppression into opportunity. changing one woman's life, changes her family, changes her village and changes society and nation.
Women are not the problem , women are the solution.
Education is the ladder out of poverty.
Even the smallest amount of economic empowerment is transformative.
See Dr. Yacoobi (featured in the book Half the Sky) talking about the vital importance of education to the development of women and society: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc0sZm56bYk&feature=youtu.be
Half the Sky movement - Solutions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FUDQvmoubU
See this short clip that features Dr. Yacoobi. She has always promoted education for women as the key to improving society. Her work with AIL has centered on the fact that by educating a girl, you not only change her life but you change the life of her family, and her community. Through education, women are less vulnerable to abuse, have fewer children and have more opportunities for jobs and to start small business.
Global Citizen and Global Poverty Project
Music Festival stunning result!!
AIL is a partner with Half the Sky in this exciting movement and a associate partner of the Global Citizen Campaign. The Global Citizen music festival in New York was a huge success with 1 million people around the world tuning in and resulted in new commitments of $1.3billion for the cause see link to video. AIL is proud to be a part of this stunning effort through Half the Sky see this Link to GCP Half the Sky.
AIL is also in the press release from Global Citizen as an associate partner.
Isobel Coleman of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote about Sakena on her Democracy in Development blog. Coleman also called Sakena an ”Afghan national hero” in an interview with the Asia Foundation.
World Children's Prize Honorary Award recipient
Sakena was thrilled to be 1 of 3 nominees for the World Children's prize. Congratulations to winner Anna Mollel, of Tanzania, for her more than 20-year struggle for Maasai children with disabilities. Sakena received the Honorary Award, see our Awards page.
The World’s Children’s Prize contributes toward a more humane world in support of the rights of the child; it is the world’s largest annual educational program teaching young people about the rights of the child, democracy, the environment, and global friendship.
More than 57,450 schools with 27 million students in 102 countries have registered as Global Friend schools of the World’s Children’s Prize. The program empowers children to demand respect for their rights while inspiring them to have faith in a better future. It also provides children with a platform to voice their concerns. In the annual Global Vote, participating children select who will receive their prestigious prize, the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, which recognizes exceptional efforts to protect the rights of the child. The annual Global Vote has attracted as many as 7.1 million voting children in a given year. The two candidates that do not receive the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child are awarded the World’s Children’s Honorary Award in recognition of their hard work.
May 2012 The Daily Muse features AIL's work
October 2011 Women, War and Peace -excellent PBS series- take the time to learn about courageous women around the world.
Yacoobi profiled in Jennifer Heath book Land of the Unconquerable - The lives of contemporary Afghan women
September 2011 Forbes article about Yacoobi
September 2011 Article about Yacoobi in the Huffington Post
June 2011 ABC news article about Yacoobi - "Pragmatic woman educates thousands"
June 2011 Business Week article from Skoll Foundation
Marcia Yerman article about Yacoobi
Rabia Povich article "A Fearless Woman" about Yacoobi
Article about Yacoobi in The Atlantic 2012
September 2010 The Lancet magazine features Yacoobi article
September 2010 Schwab Foundation names Yacoobi as one of three Social Entrepreneurs in Asia
June 2010 Sakena Yacoobi honored for her work in education and health. Sakena Yacoobi, urged the advanced degree graduates of Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California to "reach out to others and give a gift to yourself in the process" in her 2010 Commencement speech. She has been a model of such action since 1995. In appreciation of her work, SCU honored her with an honorary Doctor of Education Honoris Causa degree.
"Health and literacy are keys to human rights, empowerment and self sufficiency," says Dr Yacoobi,
June 17 2010 at the Global Health Conference in Washington, DC Dr. Yacoobi received the 2010 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights established to honor the late Jonathan Mann and to call attention to the vital links between health and human rights. The Award is bestowed annually on an individual who shows an overwhelming commitment to health and human rights, often at great personal danger.
YouTube video of AIL produced by The Skoll Foundation
Spring 2010 Sakena Yacoobi featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review
Speech by Dr. Yacoobi at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies 2009
September 2009 Sakena Yacoobi featured in book by Kristof/DuWunn
Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
There's a new focus on women worldwide. The New York Times magazine dedicated an entire issue one week in August to women in the developing world. Of particular focus was a newly launched book written by the well-known Pulitzer prize winning couple Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl DuWunn titled: Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
For more information go to this link : Half the sky
2006 National Geographic AIL and CHI mentioned under "grants awarded in National Geograhic's Afghan Girls Fund Stewardship Report 2006
February 2008 Christian Science Monitor, article including Sakena Yacoobi