When Makai Aref arrived in Montreal in 2000 as an Afghan refugee where she noticed that many other women from her homeland were suffering from isolation.
She started holding gatherings every two weeks during which Afghan women shared tea and fellowship. In 2002, two years later, the group was registered as a non-profit organization.
President and Founder
Message from the President
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 and culture and place, 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, one and a half decades later, as I present the annual report of 2018-2019, the Centre continues to grow and thrive in ways that surpass all the hopes and dreams 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 began as a place, also, where they could support and lean on 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 are 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.
The Afghan Women Center wishes to give women a sense of belonging, a safe space for them to express themselves, and give them hope for a better future in Quebec society.