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Andeisha Farid

Khak ("feeling like the world is your homeland")

"We teach our children how to live in peace,
love, tolerance and harmony"

She began her career at a tender age: she was still studying and already she worked unsparingly for the Afghan mothers and children with whom she was housed in a refugee camp in Pakistan. At a truly young age, she created her own NGO, which now uses western resources to run 10 orphanages. She has won awards and accolades, gala evenings in her honor and, probably, she has become a target for those people who don't want to change things in her country. And yet she pushes forward tirelessly, her goal being to ensure children have the right to determine their own future, perhaps the most important of all rights.

ABOUT ANDEISHA FARID

Andeisha Farid was born in 1983, in Farah, Afghanistan, to a state official. At 4 years of age she fled her country, along with her parents and five brothers and sisters, leaving behind a country devastated by civil war and the Soviet invasion. She spent her early years in an Iranian refugee camp, with no clean drinking water, no schooling, indeed, nothing. Her parents decided to send her to study in Pakistan. She spent six years there in a hostel in a refugee camp. During this time, she decided to help Afghan mothers and children who had no opportunity to study. In 2002, Andeisha Farid moved to Islamabad to begin university. She began working with a local Afghan community, initially as a teacher, but later as the director and spokesperson. She worked with a non-profit organization that, in collaboration with Charity Help International, launched the Child Sponsorship Program, of which she soon became director. After successfully running that program, she returned to Kabul in 2007 to start up Afghan Child Education and Care Organization (AFCECO). Today, AFCECO manages 7 orphanages in Afghanistan, 2 in Pakistan, a school for girls and a series of training centers across the country. Her support network includes partners in the US, Italy and Australia. In 2008, Andeisha Farid took part in the Goldman Sachs educational project 10,000 Women, which helped her to improve her management and financial skills. With this training behind her, she decided to turn to a financial manager to oversee her resources more effectively. She is currently completing language courses in Dari, English, Pashto and Urdu. She is actively involved in ensuring a constant flow of donations so as to increase the number of children being helped. In a country devastated by decades of war, Andeisha Farid has acted with determination and each day, she is at the forefront of the efforts to rebuild the country and educate the new generations. In addition to providing a warm place to sleep and food, AFCECO encourages tolerance, education and civic coexistence. Perhaps one of these children will become a future leader of Afghanistan. In March 2010, Andeisha Farid went to Washington to receive the Vital Voices award. This small trophy was given by Michelle Obama and referred to in a speech by Hillary Clinton. The presentation was shown live on NBC and The Huffington Post wrote about her.

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