Advent Calendar Day 5: Ayni Education International

Ayni Education International

You probably have never heard of Ayni (pronounced EYE-knee) Education International. And yet, the founder is the daughter of one of our parishioners; she worshipped with us on the First Sunday of Advent. In Afghanistan she witnessed the ability of educational opportunities to change lives; moreover she has both risked and dedicated her life to create such opportunities for children in Afghanistan. There is still so much to do, one child, one village at  time.

“Ayni Education International creates quality educational experiences in Afghanistan that empower and inspire children and their families to build peaceful, just and life affirming communities.” (from their website)

Mission Statement

By fostering interchanges between the United States and Afghanistan, Ayni creates quality educational opportunities in Afghanistan that empower and inspire children and their families to build peaceful, just and life-affirming communities.

Vision Statement

People from diverse backgrounds living peacefully together in just, sustainable and life-affirming communities, forming a universal web of friendship, understanding and mutual respect.

For the rest of the story: Ayni Education International. Hear what the Spirit is saying.

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About the Online Advent Calendar

For further reflection

The meaning of Ayni (EYE-knee)

There is no better word to describe what we do at Ayni Education International. The definition of Ayni is embodied in our mission and vision. Ayni (pronounced EYE-knee) is a word from the ancient peoples of the Peruvian Andes. It means “reciprocity.” It is the interchange of kindness, knowledge and fruits of one’s labor. It provides the basis for how people relate to each other, as well as to nature and Spirit. Ayni is a key to building not only just, sustainable, and life-affirming communities, but also a world where there is mutual respect, acceptance, cooperation, love and peace.

The concept of Ayni can be seen on many different levels. On a basic level, it means giving something without expecting anything in return or conversely, receiving something without feeling like you now owe someone in return. Actions are motivated by respect and love, not by judgment, guilt, duty or jealousy.

At a community level, it means learning about each other’s cultures and beliefs, trustful that differences add to our lives; and that we are each transformed by the wisdom of others. Ayni recognizes each individual’s unique skills and talents.

Photo: Ayni Education International website

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

3 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 5: Ayni Education International”

  1. Fr. Dan, thank you for spreading the word on an important issue.
    So glad you are doing well. Happy Holidays to you and yours,
    Dolores Tucker, chorus member of St. Margaret’s

    1. Dee, thank you for the kind note. Thank you, too, for the interest in Ayni. Education of children is indeed an “important issue.” I am proud to be associated with you here at St. Margaret’s. Blessings on your holidays. Blessings on you and the whole choir as Lessons and Carols approaches. ~dan

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