Andeisha Farid is the Founder of Afghan Child Education and Caring Organization, AFCECO (www.afceco.org). She was born in 1983 in Afghanistan, on the day when the former Soviet jets ruined her village in to rubbles and forced the entire community to leave their homeland and take refuge in Iran. Andeisha’s parents settled at a camp in Iran, where there was no school. Andeisha moved to Pakistan to stay at a hostel there and while studying in the refugee camp, she made the decision to tutor Afghan widows and children who had no place to learn.
In 2002, Andeisha moved to Islamabad to continue her education at the university level and there she began working with a local Afghan community, first as a teacher, and later as administrator and spokesperson of an Afghan school. Touched by the misery of Afghan street children in Islamabad who couldn’t attend school, Andeisha collected fund from the local community to establish a safe place where street children could come.
After building a reputation she became known to CharityHelp International (CHI), a US non-governmental organization. With assistance from CHI Andeisha was able to open her first orphanage in Pakistan, and in short time to see her dream grow. While she was only 24 started a new non-profit, the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization (AFCECO). Today, AFCECO runs 11 orphanages in Afghanistan and refugee camps in Pakistan with 700 children of diverse ethnicities and has employed nearly 200 people who are mostly widows and university students.
Andeisha made a worldwide recognition in a short time. She was honored plenty of prestige awards including 2010 Global Leadership Award of Vital Voices, The Goldman Sachs & Fortune Global Women Leaders Mentoring Award at Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2010. She was the recipient of the 2013 DVF Award from Diane von Furstenberg and the Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation and one of the finalists for the Aspen Ideas Award 2015. Andeisha won the Person of the Year Award through a national wide poll by Radio Azadi, the leading media in Afghanistan and Supreme Master TV awarded her Shining World Compassion Award. CNN and Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News made many stories on Andeisha’s works which resulted her with hundreds of sponsors and supporters in the US and Europe.
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”
Women Economic Forum of the ALL Ladies League awarded Andeisha the Global Women Peace Leaders of the Decade in 2015:
“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 Ischol narrated Andeisha’s biography in her book ‘Hearts on Fire book’.
In the face of extraordinary adversity and the challenging climate she faces in Afghanistan today, Andeisha acts as an integral part of her country’s efforts to rebuild, educating the next generation of leaders who will lead their nation forward. In addition to providing children a safe and nurturing environment, Andeisha’s AFCECO instills important leadership values of tolerance and an appreciation for education in Afghanistan’s future generations. In this way, Andeisha believes that AFCECO’s principles and policies better position their children for future success, and on an even greater scale, enabling them to shape to a more tolerant and prosperous future for Afghanistan.
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