Andeisha with the children of orphanage
Andeisha speaking at a panel in New York.
Andeisha speaking at a Vital Voices event
Andeisha teaches AFCECO graduates
Andeisha and Shabnam Zahir in 2007
Andeisha speaks to students in Australia in 2005
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Message from Chairperson

Andeisha Farid

 
 
From the moment I could open my eyes I saw my village turned to rubble by a Soviet airstrike. From the moment I could hear I listened to the screaming voices of helpless widows and orphaned children. I carried these tragedies as burning ashes in my heart throughout my life. One war bled into the next, and the next. As I grew older I learned that war is not the only disease embracing my ill-fated nation. A dominant medieval and decaying ideology is far more perilous than the legacy of war. Oppression blanketed my country, crushing women to the point they became less than mules, to the point they could only escape by suicide. One day, war will finally end, but this will not end the devastation. All that will be left are powerless women, boys who only know how to use a rifle, and girls whose lives are deemed useful in so much as they can be sold as child brides. These grim realities turned the ashes in my heart into fire and triggered me not to sit in a corner, but to stand up.

For me there is a practical remedy for the ignorance, oppression, hatred, and poverty so deeply imbedded in society; raise a new generation of boys and girls. It began with bringing twenty orphans to the school I directed. When I saw how quickly they responded, I felt hope. I thought that if we could do more than feed and house these children, if we could educate them, teach them to embrace equality, empower them with a sense of security, they might give back to their country what their country desperately needs: Afghan teachers, Afghan midwives, Afghan engineers and of course, Afghan leaders. That is the basis from which I began the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization (AFCECO).

For me there is a practical remedy for the ignorance, oppression, hatred, and poverty so deeply imbedded in society; raise a new generation of boys and girls….if we could educate them, teach them to embrace equality, empower them with a sense of security, they might give back to their country what their country desperately needs: Afghan teachers, Afghan midwives, Afghan engineers and of course, Afghan leaders.
Visit one of our orphanages and you will experience an island of peace. Pashtun cares for Hazara. Tajik cares for Nooristani. Uzbek cares for Kabulese. Boys learn that the future of their country depends on walking side by side with their sisters as equals. All of them respect the gift of education; all understand the responsibility and the value of freedom. Only in this way will democracy come to Afghanistan, from within.

When asked what is the best thing about the orphanage, one of our older children, Farzana, contemplated this question for some time. Then, with a smile and a light in her eyes she uttered two words. “Working together?” she said almost as a question. Yes, Farzana, working together, because without the help of so many individuals, we would not be here. Special thanks must go to Charity Help International, in particular its founder Paul Stevers. Through him and his organization hundreds of people sponsor our children. All of the sponsors are to be thanked for their undying support. And above all, I wish to extend my cordial thanks to my Afghan colleagues, the widows and hard working men, and of course the children themselves who have stood beside me and never once let me down. There is a saying in my country that one flower does not make spring. Because of these people and so many more who believe as I do that the future almost entirely depends on these children, there is hope for a new beginning.
Barak Obama
“Andeisha Farid, an extraordinary woman from Afghanistan, who’s taken great risks to educate the next generation, one girl at a time. Together, they point the way to a future where progress is shared and prosperity is sustainable”
Barak Obama
Women Economic Forum of the ALL Ladies League
“In recognition of your outstanding leadership for humanity and peace, and for your caring and concern for social inclusion and service to society, the ALL Ladies League – Women Economic Forum would be pleased to confer on you the award of “Global Women Peace Leaders of the Decade”. You are among the select distinguished leaders worldwide who will be conferred this prestigious award. We are aware that you have received many awards, but perhaps this would be a pioneering one from an international and diverse all-women’s chamber committed to the inclusive vision of uniting the world through women’s leadership"
Women Economic Forum of the ALL Ladies League
Jill Iscol
“Andeisha Farid, an extraordinary woman from Afghanistan, who’s taken great risks to educate the next generation, one girl at a time. Together, they point the way to a future where progress is shared and prosperity is sustainable”
Barak Obama
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Andeisha Farid Bio

Andeisha Farid is an Afghan woman who herself was raised in war after Soviet bombardment of her village. Andeisha determined to provide for the thousands of children suffering without home, family or access to education.

Our Management Team

AFCECO is run by a team of graduates, and they make up almost all of the staffing of orphanages, who teach, do maintenance, payroll, communications with public, outreach and other duties. Who better to self-perpetuate the raising of a generation of professionals and leaders?
Andeisha Bio

Andeisha was honored at Vital Voices’ 2010 Global Leadership Awards, and Hillary Clinton, founder of Vital Voices said in her speech “When we were listening to Andeisha Farid talk about growing up in a refugee camp, she said words that should stick with all of us: ‘But I got an education.’”
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Obama on Andeisha
Andeisha was also invited to attend a summit on entrepreneurship hosted by Barack Obama, where the President found her story compelling enough to mention in his speech to the entire community: “Andeisha Farid, an extraordinary woman from Afghanistan, who’s taken great risks to educate the next generation, one girl at a time. Together, they point the way to a future where progress is shared and prosperity is sustainable”
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Brian Williams
NBC Nightly News
Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News visited Mehan Orphanage in September 2009 and made many stories on Andeisha's works, which resulted in attracting hundreds of sponsors and supporters.
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FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit
Andeisha receives the Global Leadership Award at Lincoln Center from Vital Voices. In her speech, Hillary mentioned Andeisha: “When we were listening to Andeisha Farid talk about growing up in a refugee camp, she said words that should stick with all of us: ‘But I got an education.’”
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AFCECO is an Afghan non-profit organization based in Kabul running orphanages and educational centers for Afghan orphans and street children.

H # 13, Street 1, Karta-e-Char, 1006, Kabul, Afghanistan

+93 79 304 8580

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