ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS

Rating: 4.99 stars   78 reviews

Issues: Women

Location: P.O. Box 165 c/o Lisa Herb East Chatham NY 12060 USA

Mission: AIWR's mission is to support women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan.
Results: AIWR currently provides its long-distance English Program to 65 Afghan women and girls, and provides its Mentor Program to five Afghan attorneys and one Afghan graduate student.
Target demographics: AIWR works to support women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 50 Afghan women and girls.
Geographic areas served: Afghanistan and Nepal
Programs: AIWR's English Program: The purpose of the English Program is to increase the English capacity of Afghan women leaders and future women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one English classes. By improving their English skills, Afghan women and girls can more easily reach out to the international community for information, advice and funding, as well as sharing their experiences with the world. The English Program matches Afghan women and girls with experienced, volunteer English teachers from the U.S. and other Western, English-speaking countries. Each student and teacher pair meet on-line twice a week, via Skype™, for live English classes, using both voice and instant messaging features. In addition to providing individualized English lessons to Afghan women and girls, the classes provide both the students and teachers with a unique opportunity to directly meet and learn about each others’ cultures. This unique cultural exchange helps to build better understanding and stronger relationships between the Western world and Afghanistan, one person at a time. AIWR's Mentor Program: The Mentor Program helps build the capacity of Afghan women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one mentoring relationships with American women mentors. The Mentor Program selects qualified American women professionals to provide long-distance mentoring to Afghan women and girls in the subject matter of the mentor’s expertise. The mentor and mentee meet weekly via Skype’s free computer-to-computer phone and instant messaging service. One example of our Mentor Program includes a team of Seattle women attorneys who have been mentoring Afghan women human rights attorneys twice a week via Skype. The mentoring sessions focus on English legal and political terminology relevant to the Afghan attorneys’ work, including discussing the legal and political terminology in the Afghan Constitution and comparing it to other countries’ constitutions. The Mentor Program also provides editing and writing support to its Afghan partner organizations. For example, Mentor Program Volunteers assist Afghan partners with writing and editing documents that have been translated into English, such as grant proposals, website materials, brochures, articles, letters, and reports. By having Alliance Volunteers assist with editing, research and writing, the partner organizations are able to improve their standing and communication with the international community and donors and more effectively reach out to the world.
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

AIWR supports English teaching for women in Afghanistan via Skype from volunteers all over the world. They match each student to a teacher and support this ongoing involvement with advice on lessons, Afghani customs and also with an on site centre manager in the facilities they use in Afghanistan. I have been a volunteer for over a year and find the arrangement works well; it has enabled me to develop my english- teaching- skills- over- skype, given me an insight into another culture from my contact with my student Afsana and, I hope, both developed her english speaking abilities and developed her knowledge of her own country and mine. I know it has given her enjoyment: our last lesson on 'Dog TV' in the USA was quite a talking point! Afsana has also contributed to the 'In the life' series that AIWR has on its website, and talked about her dreams for a brighter future for her country. So it's all good. I look forward to my lessons with her and am motivated to get them just right!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a board member, I have witnessed the significant impact that AIWR’s long-distance Empowerment Programs have in the lives of Afghan women and girls. For example, of the 101 Afghan women and girls who participated in the English Program in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011, over 43 (or 42%) have already used their enhanced English skills to obtain employment or education scholarships. This statistic is remarkable given the restrictions on women’s education and employment in Kandahar and the scarcity of employment or educational opportunities. The professional English teachers who donate their time to meet with their Afghan students on Skype twice a week are incredible and fully deserve a five star review for making the English Program such a success. But the true heroes of the English Program are the indomitable Afghan women and girls who risk their lives on a daily basis to seek education and employment. They deserve a 100 star review.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Alliance is providing support for Afghanistan's greatly beleagured women through mentoring, training, and other support. through the use of long-distance Skype technology, women in Afghanistan are learning new skills, developing existing ones, and learning English so they can reach out to the international community to communicate their experiences and recieve greater support. The Alliance uses only highly skilled international professionals and experts to provide unique, one-to-one training for each Afghan woman and girl in their program. Through this mentoring, the Alliance also crosses cultural boundaries and links Western women with Afghan women, greatly increasing their shared understanding of each other's lives and experiences.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have worked in Afghanistan beginning in 2002 and continuing on and off to this day. During this time I have seen the need for the kind of help that the Alliance provides, and since its inception of work in Afghanistan in 2007 i have seen the outpouring of appreciation from women in that country for the work the Alliance is doing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more funding to provide more and greater assistance to the women of Afghanistan.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2012 Women’s Empowerment Campaign.

I have been a volunteer with Alliance for Women's Rights for the past 3 years. The women I teach are an inspiration and I am constantly amazed at their strength of character and determination. AIWR has given these women belief in themselves and the knowledge that there are other women who care about them and their future. They see education as fundemental to their future but also want to interact on a social level. My students live in very difficult situations but their sense of fun is amazing and our lessons are often full of laughter. It is difficult to express in words how much I appreciate the opportunity AIWR has given me to become a part of my students' journey. Thank you AIWR from the bottom of my heart!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I meet with a girl from Afghanistan twice per week for ESL lessons via Skype. She has an incredible passion for education, more than anything I have ever seen in my own country. I feel like I have learned just as much about her culture and country as she has learned from me. This is something I feel very lucky to have experienced, because although I have traveled a lot in the past and am familiar with a lot of cultures, this is a culture which is hard to learn about. I will treasure my volunteer experience here for the rest of my life. And as far as the organization itself, the North American-based coordinators have been helpful from day one. They are very available for questions, and for any technology-related issues that arise, and they also give good suggestions for teaching via Skype.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

It is all about my student.... The stories of her day to day life that shock me and make me proud; that frighten me and make me stand in awe of her bravery. I always begin the class by asking her "How was your day?" The answer is always "fine." But most of the time, things in her life are not fine. There are the stories she has told me about the "suicides" and the battles between the terrorists and soldiers, both Afghan and America, that she witnesses on her way to school... the story of how her brothers had to huddle hidden in the corner of their small bicycle repair shop as a battle raged around them. One day, so softly I can hardly hear, she tells me about the men who sometimes follow the girls on their way to school. "They say awful things to us...." she says, but will not tell me what. She is shy with her shame. Sometimes she is filled with terror, not because of the guns or the "suicides" or the vulgar threats of the men who follow her, but of what her life might become. "Do you know what happened this week Miss?" "My parents wanted to arrange a marriage for me with a boy." "My parents told me his is a nice boy who works in town. But what would my life be then, locked up in the house, no English classes, no computer, no school." "I cried so hard," she said, "that my parents said o.k." But her brothers remind her. "What do you think you are going to do with your education, with your English?" Sometimes she dreams; dreams so small that they are nearly invisible: of going to school or living in places like Iran or Pakistan; places that are for her "freer" than Kandahar. Sometimes she remembers her childhood, and there is no joy in those moments. Then she says to me, "You know, I never had a childhood. The Taliban took it from me." I teach her English, and she teaches me what it means to be brave: to transcend a joyless childhood, to walk with death and danger every day, to struggle against all that limits her. I am so lucky to know her.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my experiences with my student. I have helped her to improve her English. I hope I have helped her, by my example, to see how free a woman can be. I hope that that has given her confidence and supported her own yearning for freedom.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

buy the best generator possible to supply a constant flow of electricity to the school.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

The group does not shape my volunteer experience. My student shapes this experience. The group provides me with the opportunity.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have described the experience. I learned what bravery, strength of character and determination were all about from a sixteen year old girl.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It makes me feel different things at different times. When my student makes progress, I feel the satisfaction any teacher feels. When she is threatened, I feel powerless. When she laughs, I feel uplifted. When we laugh together, I feel we are connected. When she thinks of her future in a positive way, I feel energized. When she thinks of her future in a negative way, I feel defeated. It is difficult to be both so close and so far away from her; to help so much in one way and not at all in other ways.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have enjoyed every minute of my time as a volunteer for AIWR as an English teacher via Skype for a young lady who lives in Kandahar, Afghanistan. We meet twice weekly and the experience has been invaluable for us both. I am so incredibly thankful for my chance to work with AIWR : the program leaders are wonderful, helpful and encouraging. It is a terrific program with a very worthy cause.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

An excellent program that helps empower women in Afghanistan through English language learning.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Excellent organization and a great cause. I've volunteered here for almost 2 months and love it. I'd recommend it to anyone who feels strongly about educating women!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Alliance for International Women's Rights helps to empower women through its outreach programs. I am most familiar with the AIWR English Program as I have voluntarily coordinated classes for the better part of the past 3.5 years. It's a tremendously successful program that matches professional female English teachers from around the globe with Afghan girls and women so they can work together online via Skype. This experience is often deeply rewarding for both parties. It gives the girls/women additional skills which can lead to better employment opportunities. The teachers have an experience that is unique and educational. They definitely gain insight into the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan. The students get to work with a teacher who has Native or near-Native proficiency. This is a rare opportunity for the students. The teacher gets to hone her patience, her ability to work online in a very tough and sporadic situation, and she gets to assist a young woman working to fulfill her educational goals. The teachers and students are all very enthusiastic. It's a wonderful way for women to reach out and empower one another. The Alliance exists because there is a need and an overwhelming desire to learn. It is successful because so many amazing women are willing to make a commitment to share their skills and knowledge. There is nothing in the world quite as sweet as working with women as they achieve their dreams.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing that young women are getting the jobs they need to feed their families. Others go on to university and some get scholarships based partially on their ability to communicate in English. What we do has an impact that will be felt for many years to come. I've seen the development of a student over time and the changes that this can make in her life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

fund it completely and buy a satellite, classrooms and equipment for all the students and teachers who want to participate.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I'm not sure that the group needs to change. Sometimes I need to change! We have the odd bump...but that is the nature of the situation. The group manages about 99% of the time. It's mostly because the students are very eager and the teachers are committed and patient. Together, we've all done something that we can feel positively about.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It certainly taught me to have more patience (though sometimes I cannot find them!). It also taught me to always think about where the students are and what they are coping with on a daily basis. I'm also aware that our fabulous volunteers are living in difficult situations and have busy lives - we've all got something going on.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Sometimes it breaks my heart...but that's life and certainly that's life in war. We all work together to make this work - and that makes me feel really pleased. I believe what we do is meaningful and that's about as good as it gets!

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Rating: 5 stars  

AIWR connects women and girls in Afghanistan with women from other countries in order for them to be educated, to become more confident and to be exposed to the cultures of other countries. It prepares them for dealing with people other than their own and enables them to further their English education, AIWR puts women together so that both may learn from each other. It has been one of the best experiences in my life and the connection and bonding with one of the girls, a 17 year old student has been extraordinary for me. AIWR is extremely valuable in assisting the females in a country where their value is diminished. This kind of work is absolutely necessary if we are to achieve any kind of harmony on our planet.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a newcomer to the Alliance but my experience has already moved me. Chatting with and relating to a young Afghan woman and hopefully giving her a better chance for the future gives me hope for all our sakes
on this planet. It is vital that we give these women/girls a chance to help
change theirs and their families lives along with their homeland.
My student is 18 and she laughs a lot. Her English skills and her social skils are excellent. She has manners. I believe her teachers in Afghanistan are doing a wonderful job. She also plays sports which I believe is so important to physical and mental well being. She is optimistic of the future and
we need to help nurture that, support her in her endeavors. A safe place to learn and use the computer so that she can connect with the outside
world is so important. It is also important that we in the developed world have a direct connection with people in other parts of the developing world. Communication and education are the key. Helping others, compassionate serving, is what makes life worthwhile.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Afghanistan

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would expand it so as to help as many others as possible. It is of vital importance that the girls of this world be educated.

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Rating: 5 stars  

AIWR is an incredible organization that provides an amazing opportunity to Afghan women. I have been teaching English with AIWR for just over 2 months. Talking to my student is always a highlight of my week. She is so enthusiastic about learning English. Her motivation, considering all the odds she is up against, is inspirational! I have already recommended this program to many friends!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?