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Kandahar Graduation a Landmark Achievement for Afghan Women

November 30th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
An ACCC student delivers a graduation speech

An ACCC student delivers a graduation speech

On November 2nd, 2009 a landmark ceremony was held in Kandahar to celebrate the graduation of 140 female students from the Afghan-Canadian Community Center (ACCC). The ceremony was attended by over 350 guests including teachers, parents, students, prominent members of the local community and media, and representatives of the Afghan and Canadian governments.

Among the graduates were ten students who completed a two-year Business Management Program provided online through a partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). These ten students also received certificates, signed by the Prime Minister of Canada and presented by Jess Dutton, Acting Representative of Canada in Kandahar (RoCK), to mark their achievements in business management, computer technology and English language training. The ceremony also celebrated the graduation of a further sixteen students from the SAIT program upon completion of a Project Management course.

Jess Dutton Presents ACCC Students With Certificates Signed by the Prime Minister of Canada

Jess Dutton presents ACCC students with certificates signed by the Prime Minister of Canada

Mr. Dutton recognized the hard work and dedication of the SAIT students under challenging circumstances, noting that the students’ achievements were an inspiration to Afghans and Canadians alike. He further encouraged the students to use their education to give back to their community in Kandahar, and their nation of Afghanistan.

The accomplishments of these students and the ACCC are significant, particularly considering they took place in a country that is still trying to recover from conflict and amidst the threats of a narrow minority who oppose women’s education. This achievement was further recognized in several speeches by local employers, who thanked the ACCC for raising the overall standard of education for women in Kandahar.

The graduating class of SAIT students at the ACCC

The graduating class of SAIT students at the ACCC

Bibi Zhilla, a graduating student from the SAIT program, spoke on behalf of her class about what it felt like to graduate from an international learning program. She thanked ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan and her many teachers for their support and encouragement throughout the two year program and noted how the program instilled a confidence in herself and her fellow students, along with the many practical skills that they learned.

She assured the crowd that: “…the end of this course is just one of the many great accomplishments I hope to achieve in my life. Graduation from this course is just the beginning of a new flight for all of us and from this day onward everyone tries to work harder and participate in the reconstruction of the country.”

Shamim, another graduating SAIT student, noted the significance of the Prime Minister’s signature upon the certificates, which she felt clearly demonstrated the importance placed by the people of Canada on empowering the people of Afghanistan with the gift of education. The Government of Canada provides most of the operating budget of the ACCC via a capacity-building grant administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan and CIDA Development Officer Karine Landry

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan and CIDA Development Officer Karine Landry

The Deputy Governor of Kandahar spoke during the ceremony, emphasizing that “Canadian investment in education is truly building us. Education can really help us a secure a better future.” He further noted that the ACCC could be proud of its many remarkable accomplishments.

The Director of Information and Culture, whose own daughters were in the graduating class, also spoke of his pride in the women’s achievements and asked the graduates to “…make the best of the knowledge you received for the betterment of yourselves and the people of Afghanistan.” Many speeches personally thanked ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan for his tireless efforts, as well as the ACCC’s many teachers and supporters in Kandahar, Canada and around the world.

In his speech, Ehsan thanked Canadian donors, volunteers, and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for their considerable support. He noted that Canadian support has been not only financial but had also provided invaluable expertise and guidance which was helping the ACCC move toward self-sustainability. He also thanked his female students for the courage and dedication they’ve shown, despite the many challenges that women in Afghanistan still face. He praised the brave example they have set for future classes of women.

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan Delivers His Graduation Speech

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan delivers his speech

The ACCC awarded certificates of appreciation on behalf of SAIT and the Canadian International Learning Foundation to 19 Kandahar journalists from a diverse range of news agencies and networks for their promotion and media coverage of education efforts in Kandahar. Graduates expressed their appreciation with handmade gifts to CIDA and SAIT staff members, CanILF volunteers, and Ehsan and his family.

The event was also covered by local, national and international media, including Kandahar Television, Larawbar, Pajhwok News (English / Pashto),  Benawa Online Pashto World, Surgar Weekly Newspaper (First Story, Second Story), ReliefWeb, Benawa,  and the MILNEWS Canada blog.

Afghan Girls Sing at the ACCC Graduation

Afghan girls sing at the ACCC graduation

  1. March 19th, 2010 at 09:52 | #1

    Muslims should seek education everywhere. Read as follows:

    Here all are discussing about how important is education; this also prompted me to elaborate on the topic with a greater force.

    As education is believed to be key to the progress of a nation, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has emphasized, “Seeking education is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female.” During the early days of Islam women were given little or no education, and had no say in religious, political and social affairs. So here Islam entitles women to the same rights as men in terms of education and cultivation.

    As the humanity has been called upon to seek education, all of us have the obligation to get knowledge and education and reach it to others in need. I am proud to announce that we at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center have provided education to both men and women equally. Once again the Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam emphasized upon Muslims, “Seek knowledge even if it takes to China.” The saying means encourage people to learn whatever the distance and hardship may be as at that time, there were no airplanes or motorized transport as we have it now. It took months to sail by ships or travel overland through rugged country sides and have to climb over mountains, etc. Also during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) Chinese civilization was well known to be thousands of years well in advanced and developed from the world at that time.

    We at ACCC have provided online education opportunities to our students so that they study from their homes. In the light of these Hadiths now we also have the obligation to seek scholarships for our students to travel abroad to seek greater knowledge and education. Until now we have not had this opportunity at ACCC, but now would like to call upon generous supporters of humanity around the world to reach to our help and sponsor our students for higher education abroad.

    Friends from civilized nations are now here in Afghanistan endeavoring to help provide knowledge and education facilities to the people of Afghanistan to overcome their miseries. But the enemies of Islam and Afghanistan are preventing these friends of humanity to work with the people of Afghanistan to march towards civilization and enlightenment. We all know that war in Afghanistan is born of ignorance and poverty. To make Afghanistan a developed, peaceful and sovereign state, we should seek education everywhere regardless an enemy intimidation and violence tactics and any other hardships.

  2. March 20th, 2010 at 04:53 | #2


    The Advantages of Investment on Education for Women
    Education is very important for people live. Why women are ignored by society and family to encourage them to get higher education? But nowadays government tries to provide education for all not only for men but also for women. What are the advantages that we can get when women get higher education?

    Now I would like to raise 5 reasons why we have to encourage women to get higher education. Firstly, women are mother of each family. She is the one who educate their children in the first stage of education. First stage of education is very important to everyone that is a guide that helps them for the next steps. She teaches their children to be good children, good students, good friends, and good citizen for our country. When their children start school she provides all criteria that their children need in term of time, instrument, encouragement, award… So her children will like studying automatically.

    Secondly, educated women can contribute to family economy. How can they contribute? She works for paid job and mostly in well-paid job. If she does not work, she also will run the business. So she can earn money to help her husband to support the family. Moreover she knows how to spend money economically.

    Family healthiness is the third reason. Women are the one who cook for the families most of the time. So she can know what kind of nutritious food should her family need to be healthy. She knows how to choose the natural food not chemical food. Moreover she knows how to protect her family from illness like protect her children from dengue fever. She can take care all members of the family.

    The fourth one is family harmony. Educated women know more ways to solve problems with husband, solve problems in family by negotiating that avoid from violence. When her husband or her children have problems she can help them by finding good solutions for them. She can make the family happy and relax by organize some special occasion for her family.

    The last one is the contribution of educated women to society. When she start to work for paid job she act as a model to other women in the society and to promote, to encourage other women to try to study for higher education like her. Women labor force is more than 50% of total labor force. Thus when women stand up to work for paid job she can help to develop her country. In one country, if there are only men who work, this country will not be developed completely. So we need the cooperation between men and women to make our society improved modern, and prosperous.


  3. June 9th, 2010 at 05:37 | #3

    What is human right?
    In this cause we can say that every human are having equal right to have a good society and pace full life and every facility which human need that in Islam human right is equal for man and women.
    Firstly, human should have freedom of speech, freedom of life and freedom of every thing. And the should respect each other and the aptitude learning of religion, and basic roll to show the human right it is also freedom our par fat say in Quran sheriff that freedom is also can complete our society and we have to put a fundamental stone of unity we have to finish the different between the religions
    and we went to have a inculpated country after this our country give a head water from education put pen and unity there well be no different between hencoop it mean between male and female and we should give hand to each other give a intimately to each other that is all one human are having this right

    Every human having the education right and we know that form being of this date on the time the human right proofed by education pen and old story a sweet and bitter knowledge form present and past bring to the future and education is also point in holly Quran that our educated people and also our vicar said that education is necessary for meal and female to learn education and Allah fine a pen for all human to learn education by pen and we are sure by the honor ship of pen up to the would is stand on the feet’s we are trying to
    get education and our pour fat have given important value to the education
    Buses of human dignity, the “anchor norm of human rights”
    These abuses, both in Afghanistan and the Netherlands are extremely humiliating and nullifying. They place serious attacks on a person’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. They are extremely disempowering and violate the human dignity of the people who are exposed to such treatment and make them into objects.

    This should not happen! Every human being, every person is to be valued and respected. In their recent study “Human rights and disability” for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Gerard Quinn and Theresia Degener make clear that human dignity is one of the four most essential values. The other three being autonomy, equality and solidarity.

    “Human dignity is the anchor norm of human rights. Each individual is deemed to be of inestimable value and nobody is insignificant. People are to be valued not just because they are economically or otherwise useful but because of their inherent self-worth.”

    Keeping people isolated for longer periods in a row, physically restraining people by tying them down to a bed or chair as reported constitute human rights violations. They constitute a form of ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ as prohibited by article 7 of the ICCPR, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both Afghanistan and the Netherlands have ratified this Covenant; they are legally bound by it.

    Investigations necessary and urgent
    Extensive and thorough investigation of day to day practice in mental health care institutions is necessary and urgent. These investigations should be followed by a radical reform of the care system towards one where human dignity of the individual is respected as a basic value, and privacy and individual choice are recognized. Where people get the support, care and the treatment they need from adequate staff. Where quality assurance and utilization review are an integral and continuous part of the service delivery system.

    A reform also where the right to services delivered in the community is recognized. Realization necessarily includes availability of appropriate services and support systems to ensure people with disabilities can actually live safely in the community. MDRI states that it is ultimately the responsibility of the government to ensure that the rights of people with mental disabilities are protected through adequate support systems both in the community and institutions.
    1. Source: Trouw, 11, 28th, 2002; Peter Ventevogel, Dagboek / Prozac in het drink water
    2. Quinn and Degener, Human Rights and disability; The current use and future potential of United Nations human rights instruments in the context of disability. United Nations, New York and Geneva, 2002
    3. See for more recommendations: Human Rights and Opportunities for reform, MDRI, Mental Disability Rights International, Washington, 2000
    Agnes van Wijnen is senior consultant for Kantel Konsult, a small headstrong company of disabled people working on empowerment, rights and independent living.

    Society and human rights

    Our society given a special importance to the human rights we know those point which how much the have given right to the human rights those people which they don’t obeys the role of human right and don’t know the value of human by which name we are calling them that is clear a person in society in role of human right don’t have put a hand that person in the male and female right is equal they are given value to the human rights and man should think shipmate woman beauces bandies of each best man there is the hand of woman so in human right the right of male and female if equal so society made form male and female in one society need 50%meal and 50 % female so male is uncompleted with female and female is uncompleted with out meal the society which are not having unity between male and female so we are compled to complete our society by education unity and other and the and we are having a lot of brave woman’s the same like Zargoon Ana NazoAna and others so we can say that the meal and female is equal human right ‘s are warranty that to accept they all role and low which now a day’s they are not respect to the woman and society in one story they can clear that every human re having the won premonition but unfortunately in our people the are not giving a full
    Right to the human right for woman’s in one story we can proofed that there was a man how forced there daughter to get marriage with person how is 60 years old so the girl was not agree than she was also uneducated so she enface to do merdded so before we so the human right is equal for meal and female in this cause that our people is form on side the are uneducated also the are not having the capacity to know the human rights in my man point of view I would you like to say that thing which I point in my all topic it all count to the human rights because we are human this all role is not for one person this role is for all human around the would so in our country we are living under one flag or co lour and every human should accept the human right there well be never driftnet between clan and characteristics and the one how are having nisn the can know the really mean of human rights and also we are all compatriot we are accept the all role and low of the counter if some one is living in one county o they have to accept the all role and low.
    ey have to accept the all role and low

    Systemic violations of human dignity: Afghan istan and the Netherlands
    By Agnes van Wijnen

    In a small white plastered house in Samarchel, 10 km from Allahabad, a town name we are all familiar with since the American war in Afghanistan, one can find the grave of Said Mohamed Ali Shah.

    Shah, who lived from 1565-1664, was a very religious man who was known for his healing powers. Especially people with psychiatric disabilities had a big chance to be cured. His treatment consisted of a very rich meal two times a day, and a bath, also twice a day. His critics said that his patients were cured because he treated them as kings and queens, not because of God or his healing powers. The wise man did not defend himself but asked what the worst diet was that they could think of. Water, and bread with pepper, they answered. Forty days in a row the clients of Shah lived on water, bread and pepper. As the story goes, they were still cured.

    In July last year, a Dutch psychiatrist and cultural anthropologist, Peter Ventevogel, traveled to Afghanistan to work there for HealthNet International. He kept a diary of his experiences. On one of his journeys through Afghanistan he visited Samarchel and the present-day facility for treatment of people with psychiatric problems, which can be found just opposite the grave of Said Mohamed Ali Shah. The complex, a row of low rooms, was close to tumbling down. Most of the patients were sitting on a mat in the shade of a tree to which they were fastened with ankle chains. They received hardly any treatment. Ventevogel’s diary notes present a way of mistreatment of people with psychiatric or mental disabilities that we are all too familiar with.

    Mental Disability Rights International, an advocacy organization dedicated to the recognition and enforcement of the rights of people with mental disabilities, has documented human rights abuses like these in several countries around the world. Pictures of people with disabilities chained in or outside a house or tied to beds have been printed in newspapers or displayed on television. These abuses are most familiar and expected coming from countries in Eastern Europe, Africa or Latin-America.

    The Netherlands today: incidents or systemic problems?
    About five years ago people in the Netherlands were confronted with a photograph of a young woman naked in a cell like room, tied to a kind of bed. The photo of Jolanda Venema was presented in several newspapers and on prime time television. Her family, desperately trying to change the inhuman circumstances their daughter was kept in by the institution she lived in, had finally presented these photos to the media hoping this would provide the necessary pressure. Eventually they succeeded, members of parliament asked questions and the minister of health was forced to provide extra money to hire more personnel to care for the woman. Abuse was ended, or so it seemed.

    Only a few weeks ago I was shocked by observations about the current situation in the mental health care system in the Netherlands. Observations from people working in the Dutch system. Not in one institute in particular, but in several institutions throughout the Netherlands people with mental disabilities are kept isolated for long periods in a row, without treatment and with minimal care. Several institutions are reported to tie down some of the people who live there.

    The abuse is said to be structural; in other words, these situations are not necessarily exceptional incidents at all but supposedly caused by structural shortage of personnel and resources. I was shocked because of the seriousness of the violations, but maybe even more because it forced me to realize how very ready I and other fellow citizens have been to believe that the case of, for example, Jolanda Venema was really an unusual incident in our supposedly civilized country. It now proves to be all but an unusual incident.

    These all words are inclued to human rights

    Certain right
    Political right
    Freedom of speech
    Provide safety
    Declaration on human rights
    Hate crimes
    Human existence
    Physical safety
    Sexual violence
    Economic right

  4. Abdul Saber
    August 3rd, 2010 at 00:30 | #4

    hello to every one.
    Iam also thanked those honorable people that established this Center which are very helpful for kandahar girls and woman as i had heard that a lots of girls and woman got certificates from this center i become very happy becuse in kandahar city its very hard and deficulte for girls and woman to go to schools and any other centers so i kindlly requested from all students that to be very careful when they are coming to center becuse of bad satiuation here in kandahar thanks from your all attention best wish for future of all students

  5. November 18th, 2010 at 10:08 | #5

    Assalamu Alaikkum (WRWB)

    Eid-ul-Adha and Hajj Mubarak

    We celebrate Eid-ul-Adha and the Hajj,
    In which the rewards are much.
    Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder of Ibrahim’s (PBUH) sacrifice,
    Which shows us in how many ways Allah is nice.
    We run between the mountains of Safa and Marwa,
    Since it was done by Bibi Hajira.
    Hajj is about equality,
    Forget your own individuality.
    Doing the rituals in a few days,
    For cleaning your slate, this is one of the ways.
    The reason for this Eid leads back
    to Ibrahim’s (PBUH) story,
    But we must remember that only Allah
    deserves all glory.

    Thanks & Regards,


  6. Abdullah Dost
    November 20th, 2010 at 00:44 | #6

    An affiliate of The World Bank Family Network (WBFN)* *SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN STUDENTS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES** Since 1981 the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF), a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, public charity, has awarded scholarships to outstanding women from developing countries, who are completing degrees at US/Canadian universities and are committed to improving the wellbeing of women and children in developing countries. Individual MMMF Scholarships are between $12,000-$15,000 and must be used during the 2011-2012 academic year. The MMMF administers the program with support from volunteers affiliated with the World Bank and the World Bank Family Network (WBFN). * Scholarship Eligibility Criteria (No exceptions) * Eligibility criteria are also available on the MMMF *website: * http://www.mmmf-grants.org She must: v have a record of service to women and children and a commitment to improve the lives of women and children in developing countries. v be enrolled (in residence) at an accredited U.S. or Canadian educational institution for the academic year 2010-2011, intend to be enrolled for the 2011-2012 academic year, and use the grant toward the completion of her degree. v be a national of a lower or middle income country, as designated by *MMMF Country Eligibility List. v *not *be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, permanent U.S. resident or Canadian Landed Immigrant. v intend to return to her country(or other developing country) within two years of receiving the MMMF grant. v demonstrate financial need. v be at least 25 years of age by December 31, 2010 (born before December 31, 1985). v *not* be related to a World Bank Group staff member or their spouse. The required online MMMF Scholarship application for 2011-2012 is available on our website as of 15 September 2010. The application deadline is *Wednesday January 19, 2011*. * For complete information about the MMMF, scholarship eligibility, online application instructions and deadlines please visit our website: ** http://www.mmmf-grants.org* *. For questions about MMMF Scholarships please email us: **[email protected]*

  7. November 20th, 2010 at 05:17 | #7


    Living for Others is the Rule of Nature
    Nothing in the nature lives for itself

    Rivers don’t drink their own water

    Trees don’t eat their own fruit

    Sun doesn’t give heat for itself

    Moon doesn’t ever go on honeymoon

    Flowers don’t spread fragrance for themselves

    Living for Others is the Rule of Nature

    Never be proud . . .!
    Never b Proud,
    For what u r & the Position u hold,
    Bcoz after a Game of Chess,
    the King & the Soldiers
    go into the same box..!

    Shine like a sun
    “If you want to Shine like sun,
    first you will have to Burn like

    Make aim like the sky not garden
    Do not make your aim like the garden
    because everyone walk on it

    But make your aim like
    the sky so everyone
    wish to touch it.

    Life is at its weakest
    Life is at its weakest
    There’s more
    Doubt than trust
    Life is at its strongest
    When you learn
    How to trust
    In spite of
    The doubts

    The mind is like a clock
    The mind is like a clock
    That is constantly running down …
    It has to be wound
    Up daily with good thoughts …

    Don’t go through life,
    Grow through lifeLife never leaves u empty
    Life never leaves u empty
    It always replaces
    Everything u lost
    If it asks u to put
    Something down,
    It’s because
    It wants u to
    Pick up something betterEverything will follow you
    When you are in light
    everything will follow you.

    But when you enter dark even
    you own shadow will leave

    If you avoid 2 things
    You Can Win Life
    By All Means
    If You Simply Avoid
    Two Things



  8. Khan Taraki
    April 6th, 2011 at 12:47 | #8

    hi mates,

    thats cool!!
    tnx Mr. Ehsan for all ur efforts regarding academic developement of our nation.
    u did too much for Kandaharies despite the obstacles provocked through the circumstances.
    hope Kandaharies will not forget u.

    tnx again, and tnx the whole team of ACCC.

    Khan Taraki

  9. March 10th, 2012 at 23:42 | #9

    this is a happiest day of our life that our female student graduated from ACC ..for the development and progress of our country we need peace and such a moment . these all bcos of Ehsaan Sir thanks to u . Best wishes

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