When Makai Harif arrived in Montreal in 2000 as an Afghan refugee, she quickly noticed that many other women from her homeland suffered from the same isolation she did upon immigrating. Starting then, she held gatherings every two weeks for fellow Afghan women to connect with each other over tea. Over the next two years, the group grew in size and importance in these women’s lives, and what started as a mere opportunity to connect with others was formally registered as a non-profit in 2002.
President and Founder
“I started the Afghan Women’s Centre of Montreal in 2002 with not much more than hope and a belief that women, women of any age, culture, and place of origin can be agents for positive change in their own lives and communities. There were many growing pains along the way, and many challenges, and even a few moments when it seemed that those pains and challenges might prove insurmountable. But we did surmount them, and today — two decades later — the Centre continues to grow and thrive in ways that surpass all of the hopes and dreams that I had and have for it. This Centre began as a place where women from my own community and country of Afghanistan could break out of their social isolation and come together to learn about the opportunities available to them here in our adopted country of Canada. It also began as a place where they could support and lean on one another.”
“Today, we welcome and serve immigrant women from all around the world. I would like to give a special thanks to the Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff for their care and relentless commitment to making the Afghan Women’s Centre a place of support and warm welcome to the people that it serves. Last, but certainly not least, our funders, donors, community partners, and friends have been invaluable in supporting and encouraging women to make brighter futures for themselves, and in allowing us the privilege to help them do just that. Without you, none of this would be possible.
It is an honor to serve with you all.
Office Inauguration 2018 - 2019
The Afghan Women’s Centre works to give women a sense of belonging and a safe space for them to express themselves, as well as hope for a better future within the society and system of Quebec