Houda is a recent graduate in Communication Studies at Concordia University who is passionate about social justice activism. She has spent the last four years volunteering in various human rights groups in Montreal and has previously interned at social justice connections where she focused on corporate sustainability and women’s rights advocacy in mainly Latin America and Asia. Her volunteer and professional experience have allowed her to be a proud advocate of the rights of minorities. 


Furthermore, Houda’s background as a child of Algerian immigrants allows her to be extremely interested in immigrant integration in Quebec and is dedicated to improving their experience and empowering women here at AWCM. She hopes to work one day as a journalist educating people about obscure and forgotten human rights violations around the world.

Houda Kerkadi

Admin Assistant

Victoria Jahesh

Project Coordinator 

Involvement in corporate & non profit organisation across Montreal!

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 organisation. Since 2012, Victoria has been helping the centre with many of its activities and services. 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.


She has extensive experience in fund raising events as well as organising multiple cultural events. She has been given a key role as a Project Coordinator since 2018. Since then, she has also been the centre’s strategic planning consultant, tasked with deploying the communications and social media strategy, as well as updating the organisation’s social media and website.

During Victoria’s working experience with the centre, she was also engaged with other non-profit community organisations such as the foundation “Hope for tomorrow” which enabled her to work with children, their families and with the hospital staff (Montreal Children’s).  Her interpersonal qualities, including her reliability and her ability to relate well with others and show genuine care for all, are complemented by her commitment to going above and beyond to ensure the highest comfort level for her clients and all parties involved. Thanks to her knowledge of Russian, Victoria acts as an interpreter for Russian families who come to seek treatment at the Shriners Hospital for Children. She has been devoted to helping these families access services and has been a great advocate for them.  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’’. Occasionally, Victoria is invited to participate in these organisations’ activities by providing various services related to health topics in Russian and by interpreting legal documents regarding family violence education in the province of Quebec.

We Hiring !

Board Of Director 

Makai Aref

Founder, President

Makai Aref, 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 fulfill 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.

Lindsay Larios


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. For the last five years, she has helped the Centre in various applications to federal government funding opportunities, which has led to successful funding for the Center’s programs, events, and organizational capacity-building efforts.

Wida Azizi

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 for more than 6 years. In 2001, Wida moved to Canada and had to learn French. She was able to demonstrate her resilience by overcoming this obstacle and many others. Wida was able to continue her studies in nursing, highlighting her determination and perseverance. Since then, she has worked as a nurse at Santa Cabrini Hospital and is currently working at the Glen Site.


Outside working hours, she is involved with various organizations to support immigrants and refugees. Indeed, Wida has contributed to the translation of several documents dealing with the Quebec education system for the Table de concertation des immigrants et des réfugiés. She has also hosted information sessions on numerous topics related to immigrants and child education. Through her involvement and work ethics, Wida greatly contributes to the development and mission of the AWC, which aims to empower refugee women. 

Victoria Jahesh


Mahrukh Yousifzai


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 Afghanistan, she has worked as an assistant director, math and physics teacher and parliamentary secretary to the Ministries of Parliamentary Affairs.

She has also been involved in the Ministry of Women's Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs in Afghanistan. She has also provided services and support directly to Afghan women and has worked hard to implement multiple communication and engagement strategies to assist them.

In 2016, she moved to Canada and decided, in the same year, to become 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.

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

Afghan Women's Center of Montreal

Head Office: 1857 De Maisonneuve Ouest, Suite 305 

Montréal, Québec H3H 1J9

Nearest Metro : Guy Concordia 

Satellite Office : 1435 City Councillors 

Montréal, Québec

Nearest Metro: Place Des Arts ​

Phone : 514-321-2194 
Email :

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