Innovator: Sakena Yacoobi
In 2012, Sakena Yacoobi, the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, spearheaded an innovative mobile literacy program where Afghan women and girls learn to read and write in only four months to a fourth grade level. This is the only classroom literacy program in Afghanistan that combines learning to read with texting over mobile phones.
The program provides life skills, core values, critical thinking skills, boosts creativity all via mobile phones and text messages. After an evaluation to determine literacy levels the participants enroll in a four-month program that includes books and mobile phones and is based on a curriculum of more that 2000 messages covering a diversity of topics. To date 53 mobile literacy classes have been completed with nearly 1,700 graduates. 80% of the students read and write at a 4th grade level and continue their education with other institutions. %100 of the graduates know how to use a mobile phone and are confident in their abilities.