Know My Name:Sakena Yacoobi

Know My Name: Sakena Yacoobi


Location: Afghanistan

Know My Name: Sakena Yacoobi

WHO: Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is the CEO of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), which she founded in 1996 in response to the lack of education and healthcare that the Afghan people were facing after decades of war and strife. Since its founding, AIL has either directly or indirectly impacted the lives of more than 12 million people. Under her leadership, AIL continues as an innovative organization working at the grassroots level helping communities and individuals.

She is also co- founder and Vice President of Creating Hope International (CHI) and has established private facilities in Afghanistan: 4 schools, a hospital and a radio station.

She is the recipient of 5 honorary doctorates from institutions including Princeton University. Dr. Yacoobi was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Opus Prize, and is a Kravis Prize Awardee and a Gruber Prize Awardee. She is a Skoll Social Entrepreneur, Schwab Social Entrepreneur, Ashoka fellow and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Know My Name: Sakena Yacoobi Know My Name: Sakena Yacoobi

WHAT: Since its inception in 1995, AIL has positively affected the lives of millions of Afghans.  More than 70% of the beneficiaries have been women and girls and most of the men trained in pedagogy, human rights and leadership teach girls or work with females.  Years have been spent developing AIL’s basic foundational programs of providing academic and skills-based education in diverse, community-based Learning Centers, training teachers in interactive, critical thinking methodologies, training members of civil society in human rights, women’s rights, leadership, and peace, and provides health education and health care through its clinics and Community Health Workers.  AIL’s innovation is in its holistic approach to providing the basics of health and education to bring those Afghans who are at a basic survival existence into healthy, literate individuals as one package.

IN HER OWN WORDS: "She is hopeless. I cannot save her.  You cannot save her. She must save herself.  That is why I give her skills, I give her training, I give her education and I give her love and courage."

"I pray for the day when the world sees more than the war - when they see the other side of Afghanistan"

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