Profile of a Social Entrepreneur: Sakena Yacoobi

Social Goal:

Equal access to education and health services for women

Method of Change:

The Afghan Institute of Learning


 was born in Heart Afghanistan. Coming to the United States in 1970, Yacoobi received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health. From 1992 to 1995 she helped to support education equality by increasing the number of Afghan refugee girls enrolled in International Rescue Committee (IRC) supported schools. At the same time, Yacoobi also served for the United Nations on the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief as well as on the United Nations Rehabilitation Plan for Afghanistan. In 1995, Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) in an effort to further increase education and health services for Afghani girls. As a non-government organization (NGO), she founded the AIL in response to the Taliban’s control of the government. With a stronger Taliban government, funding for the IRC schools was drastically cut in the mid 1990’s.Since its inception in 1995, the AIL has helped to educate and train millions of Afghan and Pakistani women and children.

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