Professor Sakena Yacoobi co-founded Creating Hope International and is President and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL).
Yacoobi founded AIL in 1995 to provide teacher training to Afghan women, to support education for boys and girls, and to provide health education to women and children. Under Yacoobi’s leadership AIL has established itself as a groundbreaking, visionary organization that works at the grassroots level and empowers women and communities to find ways to bring education and health services to rural and poor urban girls, women and other poor and disenfranchised Afghans.
AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. After the Taliban closed girls’ schools in the 1990s, AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls in Afghanistan. AIL was also the first organization that opened Women’s Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout the country. Using their grassroots strategies, AIL now serves 350,000 women and children each year through its Educational Learning Centers, schools and clinics in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.