Hundreds of Kandahar Students Graduate from CIDA-Funded Education Program

CanILF NR-0901 November 2, 2009 OTTAWA Despite recent insecurity, more than two hundred students at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center (ACCC) in Kandahar, Afghanistan graduated on November 2, 2009 from a professional education program funded largely by the Canadian International Development Agency.

“Through the education and support provided by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Government of Canada and the Canadian people, the Center has given us hope for a better future,” said Class Valedictorian Bibi Zhilla, “Now it is our responsibility to share this precious gift with others in  need.”

The ACCC provides professional education to approximately 1,000 students in Kandahar, more than half of them women. A group of 30 students have had the opportunity to study Business Management with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) via the Internet.

ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan travelled to Calgary to receive an honourary degree from SAIT in June 2009. ACCC students had planned to accompany Ehsan during the trip, but were unable to do so for security reasons. This group of students received graduation certificates from SAIT during this ceremony.

The ACCC was founded by Ehsan in early 2007 with the support of the Afghan School Project, which sponsors student scholarships and provides the Center with educational equipment, such as computers and textbooks.

The Project is managed by the Canadian International Learning Foundation (CanILF), a registered Canadian charity. The Foundation also provides Canadians with the opportunity to communicate with students in Kandahar via and an online Pen Pal program.

“We are incredibly proud of what our students have achieved under such difficult circumstances,” said Ryan Aldred, President of CanILF, “With the assistance of the Government of Canada, we have helped the people of Kandahar to create a vibrant and thriving school which has made a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of people.”

Several hundred students and graduates of the Afghan-Canadian Community Center have obtained long-term employment with local businesses and international organizations. On average, each employed student provides economic support to more than seven family members.


Notes to the editor: Further details regarding the Afghan-Canadian Community Center (ACCC) are available online at Photos of the ACCC and its students are available at A link to video footage from the ACCC is available upon request. Further information regarding the Canadian International Learning Foundation is available at

For more information, please contact Ryan Aldred, President of the Canadian International Learning Foundation at 613-614-5349 or e-mail [email protected].

This entry was posted in All News Posts, Benefits of Education, In the News, Our Partners, Press Release. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *