Team

STAFF MEMBERS

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VICTORIA JAHESH

Project Manager - Executive Director

Victoria is a Strategic Planning and Senior Advisor at the AWC, where she began volunteering in 2007. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of the AWC of Montreal. Her career spans over 15 years in the non-profit, NGO, and corporate sectors. She has dedicated her life to advocating on behalf of social justice, women’s rights and empowerment, and gender equity. These values have animated her international involvement in countless fundraising events dedicated toward safeguarding the rights of vulnerable and disabled women and their families, reducing poverty, and fighting against systemic racism and sexism.

 

Victoria has a medical degree, with proficiency in four languages Farsi, Russian, English and French. Her extensive medical knowledge have greatly facilitated her ability to collaborate with international organizations such as the “Foundation of Hope for Tomorrow,” Shriners Hospitals for Children and the McGill University Health Center (MUHC).

 

Additionally, she has had the honor of consulting the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in designing and implementing training programs concerning Afghan culture for Canadian troops in preparation for their assigned missions in Afghanistan.

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Sadaf Azaram

Social Support

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Rabi Azizi

Facilitators

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Tameem Akhgar

Digital Literacy instructor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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MAKAI HARIF

President & Founder

Makai Harif is the founder and president of the AWC 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 the 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 for over 8 years.

 

After going through the long and harsh path refugees often face, 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 to live. With a profound understanding of the trials and hardships faced by immigrant women, Makai founded the AWC of Montreal in 2002.

 

Since then, she has worked tirelessly 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 and social needs, language barriers, celebration of key holidays, and much more. Her loyalty, selflessness, and dedication, and knowledge are all model qualities for those who wish to serve as volunteers within the organisation.

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LEILI KHAGHANI

Administrator

Leili moved to Montreal in 1998, where she has been involved in the cultural scene for over 20 years through her work with Radio Chavak, HafteH magazine, and various cultural organizations. Her experience with cultural communities in Montreal serves as an invaluable contribution to the AWC, as we always welcome different perspectives to strengthen our organization. In 2009, she created the "Savalan Cultural Group,'' which organizes activities to promote Turkish language and culture. Leili also uses her experience in organizing activities to plan our events and develop our activities. 

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WIDA
JAHESH AZIZI

Vice-President

Wida 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 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 to continue her studies in nursing, highlighting her determination and perseverance.

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MOROKH YUSEZAI

Secretary

Morukh, a woman deeply committed and involved in women's issues, holds a Bachelors of Science 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 her gift in leadership, empathy, and altruism. In 2016, she moved to Canada, and has  since been  involved in the AWC 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.

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HOMARIAH HARIVA

Administrator 

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.

SUPPORT
STAFF

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LINDSAY LARIOS

Support

Lindsay Larios holds a PhD  degree in political science graduated from Concordia University. 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.

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ADENIKÈ ADEGBIDI

Support

Adenikè  is a recent graduate of the master's degree in international law and politics from the Université du Quebec à Montréal. Her master's research focused on an intersectional analysis of the deprivation of citizenship of Shamima Begum in the United Kingdom. She also holds a bachelor degree in Political Science (Major in international relations). She has always been committed to the empowerment and development of women throughout the world and has therefore decided to join the AWCM.

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JOAN KAHN, PhD Doctor of Philosophy - Communications

Support - Volunteer 

Academic Editor & Consultant to International Professors/Students

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ELEANOR COHEN

English Teacher - Volunteer 

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CLINTON PARKER, PhD CANDIDATE IN LINGUISTICS

Support - Volunteer 

SUPPORT
MEMBERS

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GULPANA DAYAAN

Basic Computer Literacy - Assistant 

Gulpana Dayaan is a great computer teacher assistant, 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.

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BEHROZ BEHZAD, PhD CANDIDATE in Religious Studies 

English Teacher - Volunteer 

We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.