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ACCC Director Receives Honourary Degree from SAIT

June 5th, 2009 26 comments

honorary-degree

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan receives an honourary degree from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Ehsanullah Ehsan, Director of the Afghan-Canadian Community Center, was awarded an honourary degree by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology on June 2nd in recognition of his contribution to women’s education and human rights in Kandahar. In his acceptance speech, Ehsan delivered a moving tribute to those who had helped him to create the Afghan-Canadian Community Center:

“Through the support provided by SAIT, the Government of Canada and the Canadian people, we have given people hope for a better future. We have created what has been called ‘an oasis of decency and civility’ – a place where women and men alike can go to discuss, explore, understand and learn. The sight of beautiful Afghan girls glued to computers and books at the Centre is a symbol of the drastic social change taking root in Afghanistan. Everyone at SAIT should be very proud of what they have helped to create.

You – the great people of Canada – have shown incredible generosity in supporting my country and my educational initiatives. Individual donors and the Government of Canada have made significant contributions through the Canadian International Learning Foundation’s Afghan School Project, and through the Canadian International Development Agency. With this generous support, we are proudly moving the Afghan Canadian Community Centre – and the people of Afghanistan – toward self-sustainability and gender equality.”

ehsan-delivers-speech
Ehsanullah Ehsan delivers his acceptance speech

He also had his own words of wisdom to pass along to the SAIT graduating class of 2009:

“By receiving the knowledge imparted to you by your teachers, you have been entrusted with a sacred gift, one that few people in this world have the opportunity to receive. The importance of this knowledge cannot be over stated – it empowers men and women alike to support themselves, their families, and improve their community. Knowledge is the backbone of society, and the key to peace and prosperity.

I hope that you will use this gift to realize your dreams – and to help others realize theirs. As one of the keepers of the sacred gift of knowledge, you have a remarkable opportunity to share this gift and, by doing so, to save humanity from the threat of oppression, war and deprivation. I urge you, as citizens of the world, to use this knowledge not only to benefit yourselves, but to also create hope for those who would learn, if only given the chance.”

To view the speech in its entirety, please click here.

Ehsan also collected certificates on behalf of the ACCC students studying at SAIT, who were unable to make the trip to Canada for security reasons. Ehsan has since returned to Kandahar, and will soon be holding a ceremony to present the first cohort of SAIT students with their academic certificates.

Ehsan’s visit to Calgary was covered by numerous media outlets, including Global National, the Toronto Star, CBC, the Calgary Sun, the Calgary Herald, Canada AM, and the Winnipeg Free Press.

The Afghan School Project would like to thank everyone at SAIT, CIDA, and the Government of Canada who made his visit possible. To help us offer life-changing education to a greater number of women in Kandahar, please Donate.

Alliance for International Women’s Rights Provides ESL Training to ACCC Students

March 19th, 2009 16 comments

The Afghan Canadian Community Center (ACCC) is pleased to partner with the Alliance for International Women’s Rights to further improve its English-language training program through the introduction of online English as a Second Language (ESL) training.

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the mission to support the development of female leaders in developing countries, particularly in Central Asia. They match women in Central Asia to skilled professionals in developed countries who wish to use their skills and experience to further women’s education.

The ESL program is one of the Alliance’s Armchair Volunteer Programs, which take advantage of free Internet-based communication technology to help open the world to women in developing countries through long-distance volunteers. These volunteers bring their experience and professional skills to help build local capacity for women’s rights organizations, women politicians, women educators, and girls who have the potential to become future women leaders.

The English language training uses Skype, a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) application, to connect students and teachers on a one-to-one basis. These pairings will usually conduct two hour-long conversational English classes per week. Its focus on live instruction with native English speakers will be highly valuable for students at the ACCC.

By improving their English skills, Afghan women and girls can more easily reach out to the international community for information, advice and funding, as well as share their experiences with the rest of the world. This training will also help students develop the skills required to obtain high-paying employment and contribute to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

The partnership will provide personalized training for seven students at the ACCC. Should the program prove effective, the AIWR and the ACCC will consider further expanding the number of participants.

Canada eSchool to sponsor courses for ACCC students

January 28th, 2009 2 comments

Canada eSchool has generously agreed to sponsor eight online courses for students at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center (ACCC). The courses will include subjects such as English, Science, Health, Math, and Civics, and are accredited by the Ministry of Education in Ontario, Canada. Not only will the eSchool’s classes provide valuable education for ACCC students, they are also accepted by Universities and Colleges in Canada and around the world.

The courses offered by eSchool are very flexible, offer continuous enrolment, and can be accessed from anywhere at any time, making them ideal for students on the other side for the world. Programs such as this make it possible for students in Kandahar to get access to education that they would otherwise be unable to receive. This kind of education enables students to obtain valuable jobs with local and international employers and allows them to give back to their community.

Canada eSchool has also agreed to provide further courses to ACCC students at significantly discounted rates. The Afghan School Project is proud to partner with the ACCC to sponsor students in Kandahar for this unique opportunity. To help, please visit our Donate page.

Together with their affiliate school, Canada eSchool is one of Canada’s largest private online learning programs for international secondary students, and provides courses which are accepted by Universities and Colleges in Canada and around the world. The initial group of ACCC students is expected to begin their classes by mid-February.

Afghan School Project, Yuk Yuk’s to host “You Laugh, They Learn” comedy show to benefit Afghan-Canadian Community Center

October 27th, 2008 No comments

The Afghan School Project and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Clubs will be hosting a comedy show in Ottawa on November 13th to benefit the Afghan-Canadian Community Center.

The comedians performing are Derek Seguin, Ryan Denee and Kwasi Thomas. The show will be held at The Prescott, at 379 Preston Street. Doors open at 7:00 pm, and the show will start at 8:00 pm.

Tickets cost $12, and can be ordered online or purchased at the door. To RSVP on facebook, please click here. Tickets are no longer available for purchase online, but can be purchased at the Prescott this evening. We hope to see you there!

Governor of Kandahar Presides Over Certificate Ceremony at ACCC, Expresses Support

August 30th, 2008 1 comment

On August 27th, the Afghan-Canadian Community Center was deeply honoured with a visit by Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi, who toured the ACCC and presided over the certificate ceremony for close to 250 graduates of the ACCC. The event was covered by local, national and international media, including Kandahar Television, Hewad Television, Afghanistan National television, Aryana Television and the Canadian Press.

The Governor of Kandahar’s speech emphasized the importance of education and the vital role it plays in the development of a nation. He thanked the Canadian people, government and supporting institutions for the support provided to the ACCC and for their role in developing education in Afghanistan. He further praised Ehsan for his untiring efforts to promote education in Kandahar. The Governor was impressed by the number of women who were attending the ACCC, the modern education they received, and the rapid progress they have made.

In his speech, Ehsan described the remarkable achievements and progress of the ACCC, which was attended by more than 700 students who received instruction from 40 teachers. He further noted that, since the ACCC began operations in January 2007, more than 400 students have successfully completed courses in business management, Information Technology, English and health care and over 100 students have obtained high-paying employment or promotions as a result of ACCC training. Ehsan thanked the Afghan School Project, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), the Government of Canada and the Canadian people for the generous support provided to the ACCC.

Shamim and Abdullah Amin delivered speeches on behalf of the women’s and men’s programs at the ACCC, respectively. Shamim spoke on the importance of education and the role of the ACCC in improving the lives of women in Kandahar. She noted that the SAIT training was not only invaluable at her workplace, it had raised the overall standard of education for women in Kandahar and allowed them to secure highly-paid employment. Abdullah described the students’ high rate of employment and their contribution to the community as proof of the ACCC’s effectiveness. Shamim and Abdullah both emphasized the need for additional resources and closer ties with the Kandahar government to help meet rising demand for ACCC courses.

The Governor referred to the ACCC as a “great initiative” for modern education in Kandahar, and promised to thank the Government of Canada for their support and request further resources for the ACCC. He further pledged to consider the possibility of support from the Afghan Government.

 

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi and ACCC Director Ehsan Ullah

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi Tours the ACCC With Director Ehsan Ullah

 

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi and Women Students of the ACCC

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi Speaks With Women Students of the ACCC

 

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi Presents a Certificate to an ACCC Student

Kandahar Governor Rahmatullah Raufi Presents a Certificate to an ACCC Student

Personal Reflections of Suhila: “Why I Want to be a Project Manager”

August 25th, 2008 1 comment

Suhila is one of the students at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center who studies Business Management online with the Southern Alberta Institution of Technology (SAIT). She has performed very well on her courses, and has demonstrated a great deal of skill and determination. In this essay, she describes why she wants to be a project manager in Afghanistan.

My country had been in war for the past 37 years so it obvious how it has become mismanaged from the top to bottom. Each department has an absolute-empowered leader who runs projects by forcing and threatening the employees; no team work, no co-operation, no meetings, no internal or external supervision in order to get their employees ideas, suggestion and make them more independent, creative, and responsible for the enhancement of their Department.

In each department the super-empowered civilians work for their own good, hiring their own relatives. They don’t work for the communities. For example; countries try to convince the Afghan students in school by giving them packages of oil monthly, biscuits daily, school uniform once a year, tooth brush and tooth paste in order to improve their health and help their economic situation. Once the supplies are in the school, students get the package of oil for the first month and the rest of the packages are gone. No one knows where, when and who got the rest of the donations, but when you go out in the market, you will see the oil, the biscuits, the tooth brush, tooth pastes as well as the dates that they have been sold in the markets and the money in the pockets of ?????. Furthermore, there is no one to supervise what is going on in the schools or any other departments.

As I mentioned mismanagement and corruption is ongoing in each department of Afghanistan. All human rights is being corrupted everywhere because of the lack of well-skilled managers to manage the atrocious circumstances and to ask responsible persons what they have done so far with the projects that had been given to leaders who don’t care about the quality of their performances.

As there is a lack of qualified project managers all over Afghanistan, therefore one of my personal milestones, after I studied hard, is to be a qualified project manager. In this way, I can effectively manage the entire situation and bring projects to completion while keeping a tight restriction on budgets (costs), schedules (time), and, quality. I can be a quick decision maker for the purpose of having a well-prosperous Afghanistan that needs to acquire a person with theses set of skills to manage projects and solve variety of problems during the execution of a project.

My ambitions to be a project manager is to manage my future, my family, my society, my country and the world by:

– building community energy and capability for local and sustainable elucidations
sustaining community success continuously

– encouraging and enabling partnership between communities, government and foreigners
taking local success to local and national scale.

– train community leaders and literacy teachers through training programs

– train government ministries in the process of mobilizing and community participation.

In order to support the recovery process in which the entire country is now engaged, the future generations of Afghanistan have the responsibility to build the capacity of communities, predominantly women, to develop locally sustainable development programs in literacy, health and other needed sectors. It’s not necessary that a project manager should always carry long term projects such as; managing Organizations, NGOs, companies, etc. A project manager can also be, for example, a housewife, a teacher, a cook or a tailor. What matters is how you manage yourself, your work, your performance, your organization, your society and your country.

– Suhila