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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Alliance For International Women's Rights

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Women, Womens Studies

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.

Community Stories

102 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AIWR is a great non-profit organisation which helps women all over the world, with a current focus on Afghanistan. I am honoured to be a volunteer English teacher. Every week, I learn something new from my student, and I am more than happy to help her improve her language. If you want to put your skills into use, contact AIWR. The directors and coordinators are always there to help us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Alliance for International Women's Rights is an outstanding Volunteer Organization. It is a great opportunity for women in developed countries to teach, mentor, educate, and befriend someone in a less fortunate and dangerous situation. It opens the door for communication, understanding, and heart-felt relationships that could be lasting. The experience is enriching and what AIWR does for the young women in foreign countries - is amazing.... despite the challenges and how dangerous this all can be. If you ever have a chance to be a part of such an amazing organization, then do so, because... the opportunity to work as a volunteer with AIWR - is priceless.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with the AIWR English Program for almost 6 years. While it often presents challenges, it is always rewarding. The women and girls who access this program in Afghanistan are pretty amazing. Despite the serious deterrents they face they are totally determined and committed to pursuing education. A small portion of time volunteering comes with the constant reminder of the enormous value embedded in this mutually educational relationship.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am coming towards the end of my first three months of volunteering as a teacher on AIWR's English Program and have found it to be an excellent experience in all respects. AIWR have been quick to respond to any queries and very helpful and friendly. Working with my student has been an incredible experience and I am extremely grateful to AIWR for providing such a wonderful opportunity, and for doing such invaluable work.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer teacher for AIWR for three months and I found the organisation to be incredibly dedicated, efficient and enthusiastic. Directly speaking to female students in Afghanistan felt like truly making a difference. I can't think of many programmes that are able to form such a tangible link between cultures.

2 Iris N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working as a volunteer teacher of English for just three weeks and have been most impressed by the friendly efficiency of the organisation. I am a retired teacher and have taught in various contexts, including teaching girls and young women in a developing country, and understand how valuable it is to give women the skills to enable them to be independent and help others. My young Afghan student hopes to become a doctor. I believe that AIWR and my small role may help her achieve her goal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working for AIWR as a volunteer for over a year now and have enjoyed my time with them greatly. Their support staff is excellent, and the cause they work for is a very important one. I've been teaching English to a young Afghan girl over Skype, and I think the experience has changed both our lives. It is quite moving how energetic and optimistic she is about her future in such a hostile environment. I firmly believe that AIWR's program has a great impact on the lives of these girls and brings Afghanistan closer to us voluteers, who know nothing about it apart from images from the media. I continue to work for AIWR, and hope to do so until my other work schedule permits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been working as a volunteer English teacher for about six months and have enjoyed every moment of it! I work with both a man and a woman who do amazing work for a non-profit in Afghanistan, and for whom learning English would help their career. Any time an issue has arisen, such as one with scheduling conflicts, the team at AIWR has been very quick to respond and help. AIWR is wonderful non-profit, and I feel honored to be working with them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Alliance for International Women's Rights is a superb non-profit. It is set up to directly impact girls and women in Afghanistan by helping them learn English one-on-one with a teacher in the western world. It is a safe, effective, stream-lined model. Our world needs to do more to help girls and women, and this group is doing it, woman by woman. Thank you to all the volunteers who are making it happen.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazingly well-run, nicely organized non-profit set up to directly help girls and women in Afghanistan (and other east Asian countries) with one-on-one teaching experiences from Western women, all via the internet. It truly makes the other side of the world feel closer and more personal to know that a woman in the Western world can reach out and directly help a woman in the developing world. Educating women and girls is the key to world peace and each country's potential prosperity. Programs like this deserve more attention and support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working for AIWR has changed my life in aspects that I continue to discover even after a year and three months. The experience works primarily on two levels: first, the idea that such a strong emotional and educational connection can be made utilizing technology is remarkable. I think AIWR is one among few pioneers that truly mobilizes the revolutionary possibilities of the internet. The second function of being an AIWR volunteer is that I have the privilege of knowing my bright, earnest, and deeply compassionate 15 year old student. She has taught me much more than I could ever hope to impart to her. My family and friends know about this relationship in my life and they too are inspired by this young woman. I am simply grateful to have had this opportunity, and I look forward to more and more people being a part of this extremely relevant project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being an active participant in this grassroots, true to life, interwoven tapestry of learning, teaching and growing is a dream come home in my life. Women reaching out to touch other women beyond culture, creed and country lifts up my spirit, lightens my life and encourages my daughters and grand daughters by broadening what they know about relationships and ways they can participate globally with others. The bright light of women helping women shines into every darkness as we learn how to be global citizens.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with AIWR for 5 months. The experience was far more life changing than I would have ever imagined to have working from my own home two hours a week. The support and question response I got was beyond that of any in-person, not online position I have ever held. As a volunteer, I was sent thank you letters and beautiful hand-crafted gifts at least twice a year. In thse five months I gained a relationship with an amazing student, an understanding of the Afghan culture, a deeper understanding of the conditions that currently exist in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, the potential that online classes and technology offer to changing the world division of education, and so much more. I got so much out of the experience that I recommend the organization to all of my friends.

mamaherb

Donor

Rating: 5

AIWR continues to do amazing work through the internet by helping teach and mentor young women who need a way to educate themselves. By using the internet and Skype volunteers that work through AIWR have reached out to help in meaningful ways. Check out the AIWR website to learn more.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

AIWR had a very good year mentoring, supporting and educating Afghan women. This work is even more important with the difficult political climate for Afghanistan women.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for AIWR for about a year as an English teacher (via Skype) to young women in Afghanistan. The whole procedure, from the interview to the information given and the regular follow-ups was very professional. As an EFL teacher, I found this experience extremely worthwhile as it gave me a feeling of being in a situation where I was needed - how else were these young women supposed to learn English from a native speaker? I felt like I developed a good relationship with my students and we still communicate when possible. The staff at AIWR were always helpful and provided such a positive energy no matter what the situation was - you could feel it even through e-mail! I am doing my master's now; however, I will definitely volunteer with AIWR in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AIWR's English Program in Afghanistan is a life-changing program, both for the Afghan women and girls who are empowered through the education it provides and the female ESL professionals around the world who teach these remarkable students. Over the past year, my student and I have developed a such a close, meaningful relationship, it's hard to believe we've only communicated digitally. Every class I am amazed by how grateful my student is to learn English and for this wonderful program.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work with AIWR's English Program in Afghanistan to offer long-distance ESL classes to Afghan women and girls living in Kandahar. Using Skype, I meet twice a week with my student, a bright and bubbly 13-year-old girl, to practice English conversation, promote cross-cultural understanding and simply talk about life. For me, and I hope for her, the experience has been nothing short of incredible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the organization for over a year now and have found the experience invaluable. The director, Lisa Herb, puts forth an incredible amount of time, energy, and effort in order to run AIWR and fulfill its mission. The organization is entirely volunteer-based, with so many people, literally from all corners of the Earth, volunteering their time and expertise to working with and for women in Afghanistan (while also gaining so much from their interactions with girls and women in Afghanistan). It is truly remarkable.
Another great quality of the organization is that it is so accessible in terms of volunteering. A volunteer can make an impact in Afghanistan from their own hometown. Every day that I volunteer (my role is to reach out to the organization's volunteers and let them know they are appreciated) I am amazed by the places all these women come from and all of their experiences, that are brought together by other women in Afghanistan. I feel like AIWR is creating a significant network of women around the world that care about other women, women's issues, and are willing to act.
I feel sincerely privileged to help and be a part of an organization that is truly focused on its mission, and is accomplishing so much.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has been phenomenal. I have been a volunteer for the organization for over three years now and I think it is one of the very most worthwhile things I have done in a lifetime of service. They have made all the difference for Afghan women attorneys and legislators, in tems of furnishing them the tools to succeed in their nation and to serve as role models of talent and courage for other women in that country. The organization serves as a lifeline of hope and strength, a develops the critically needed talent to make the difference in the lives of all Afghan women. We are also allying with the American Bar Assocation for a Middle East project for women that will be part of this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am writing on behalf of the Alliance for International Women’s Rights (AIWR) and in support of the 2012 Women’s Empowerment Campaign Award.

I have been involved in the AIWR for over a year and have to say it is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my professional life. The woman who I have worked with in Afghanistan is truly remarkable and her commitment is nothing short of inspirational. My goal is to help empower her in some small way, so that her ability to communicate in English provides a chance to expand her options in a country with extremely limited opportunities for women. Our one-on-one time via Skype is valuable to us both.

As Westerners, I think we cannot always understand the depth of challenges and obstacles Afghan women face. Custom and culture requires specific permission from a father or husband to even attend the English language computer sessions. And physically getting to the center places them in serious harm’s way since the culture holds women in very low esteem. It is a fact that women have been killed and maimed trying to become educated in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the challenges do not end with safe arrival, since we often experience technical difficulties. Very low bandwidth means that classes are held via Skype with audio only (or instant messaging), but intermittent electric power and malfunctioning of low tech equipment such as headsets, means that a class may have to be cancelled. These disappointments happen all too often and it is our hope that funding for new devices will alleviate the problem.

At the same time, it is so rewarding to hear the joy in her voice when we are able to successfully connect and make progress. These women are so committed to the program that it becomes an inspiration to me to work even harder to ensure success. The language lessons and cultural exchanges encourage these women to succeed in so many areas of their lives. This is a wonderful organization and I am very pleased to be a part of this important work and fully support the AIWR and its goals.

d.v.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with AIWR's English Program for the first time in September of 2011 and just recently started volunteering with the program again this May. AIWR is the most unique and exciting nonprofit organization I have ever had the chance to work with. Its English Program allows for ESL educators around the world to really make a difference in lives of and empower the key population of Afghan communities today- women and girls. I am very excited to continue volunteering with and watching AIWR grow in the future.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the Executive Director of AIWR, I have seen first hand the tremendous impact that both our volunteers and the Afghan participants have on each other. Our volunteers are all professional teachers and attorneys, who donate their time and skills to educate and mentor Afghan women and girls via Skype. The relationships that are formed through these weekly meetings are life changing for both students and teachers. The Afghan women and girls in our programs, who risk their lives to educate themselves, soak up every drop of knowledge and encouragement offered by their teachers and mentors, and directly apply their new skills to obtain employment or seek further education. I am constantly humbled by their tremendous courage, tenacity and unconquerable spirits. The teachers and mentors often report that the experience of working directly with their Afghan students has forever changed their view of not only Afghanistan, but of women's rights and what it means to strive every moment of every day to try to obtain basic human rights. If I could, I would award each and every volunteer a five star rating. As for the Afghan women and girls in our programs, there are simply not enough stars to reflect their achievements and strength of spirit.