Dr. Sakena Yacoobi

Sakena Yacoobi is the founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) an Afghan women-led NGO founded in 1995., well known for her work for the rights of children, women and education. She has earned international recognition for her work and received numerous awards including the 2013 Opus Prize, 2015 WISE Prize in Education and 2016 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education as well as 6 honorary degrees, including from Princeton University. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. When the Taliban closed girls’ schools, AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls Since 1996, millions of Afghans have benefited from AIL’s education, training and health programs. The Sakena Yacoobi Hospital has been built in Kabul and a radio station has been established to disseminate information about the importance of education, values, and harmony.

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