Victoria Jahesh is a capable and devoted woman with a background in medicine who has volunteered countless hours of her time to support the mission of this organization. She has been given a key role as a Project Coordinator since 2018. Since then, she has also been the centre’s strategic planning advisor, tasked with deploying the communications and social media strategy, as well as updating the organization's social media and website. She has provided information sessions about health topics for senior members, interpreting documents, and also doing hand's on work around the centre with volunteers.
Victoria participated in other non profit organizations whose mission is similar as ours : to bring up the concerns about immigrant families by collaborating on legal information about family violence education in the province of Quebec. She was also engaged with the foundation “Hope for tomorrow” which enabled her to work with children, their families and with the hospital staff (Montreal Children’s). Speaking 4 languages, Victoria is occasionally invited to provide various services related to health topics such as interpretation services to Russian families and Farsi speaking families in the Montreal Children's Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for Children.
She is currently a board member of ‘’Table de quartier community council of Peter-Mcgill’’, and she has collaboratively worked and helped other organisations such as ‘’ACCESSS’’ and la ‘’Table de concentration des organismes ou services des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes’’.
President & Founder
Makai Harif, a passionate, dedicated and highly educated volunteer is the founder and the president of the Afghan Women’s Centre of Montreal. With a Master’s degree in Mathematics and Physics, she worked as a teacher and a school principal for more than 20 years, in Afghanistan. Due to socio-political instability there, she moved to Russia with her children with the hope that she would go back to her home country after 3 months, but ended up staying there more than 8 years. After going through the long and harsh path of a refugee, she founded a Centre for Refugees in Russia with the aim of supporting others. In March 2000, Makai and her family immigrated to Canada in order to find a secure and peaceful place. With a profound understanding of the trials and hardships faced by immigrant women, she founded the Afghans Women’s Centre of Montreal in 2002. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to fulfil her vision of lifting up and supporting immigrant women from all over the world. She has supported hundreds of women and their families within a wide range of needs: housing, employment, legal issues, social needs, language barriers, celebration of key holidays and more. Her loyalty, selflessness, and dedication are all model qualities for those who wish to serve as volunteers within the organisation.
Wida Azizi is a highly educated woman with an academic background in medicine specializing in Pediatrics and is an active member of the Centre's board of directors. Following her training in Pediatrics in Russia, her desire to support and to treat refugees and immigrants motivated her to work for the Red Cross as a physician. In 2001, Wida moved to Canada. She was able to demonstrate her resilience by overcoming obstacles and many others to continue her studies in nursing, highlighting her determination and perseverance.
Mohrukh, a woman deeply committed and involved in women's issues, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kabul University and a Certificate in Health Science from Masar-e sharif Hospital. In addition to being highly educated, her various professional experiences have allowed her to develop many skills and qualities such as leadership, empathy and altruism.
In 2016, she moved to Canada since then she is involved in the Centre as a board member, once again demonstrating her commitment to the cause of refugee women. Her hard work has contributed greatly to the development of the Centre.
Leili Khagani moved to Montreal in 1998, where she has been involved in the cultural scene for over 20 years, as she has been involved in Radio Chavak, the magazine ‘HafteH’ and various cultural organizations. Her experience with cultural communities in Montreal will serve as an invaluable contribution to the AWCM as we always welcome different perspectives to strengthen our organization. In 2009 she created the "Savalan Cultural Group'', which organizes activities to promote the Turkish language and culture.Khagani will also be using her experience in organizing activities to plan our events and develop our activities.
Lindsay Larios is a PhD candidate at Concordia University studying political science. Her research and writing focus on immigration and family policy in Canada, in particular how they impact immigrant women.
Lindsay came to know the Afghan Women’s Center in 2015 when she contacted the Center for a project, she was working on related to refugee women and caregiving. Shortly after this, she began to help writing grant applications as a volunteer in various applications to federal government funding opportunities.
Our new board members Homariah Hariva is an experienced civil engineer with a background working in government. She has used her expertise to work in many notable corporations such as the German ‘GIZ’ company . At the AWCM, Homariah’s experience in the technical world will be a great contribution to our centre in terms of logistical planning for our events as well as coordinating activities.
Gulpana Dayaan is an experienced computer teacher, with a focus on softwares and hardwares. When she moved to Montreal, she used her background in Economics to garner a position working as a manager at a bank. Gulpana’s dedication to helping refugees allows her to be a great addition to our team as she will be using her passion to make the centre a welcoming place for others as it was for her.
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.