In Focus Lecture: Afghans in Search of a Home – Crisis Awareness and Welcoming Refugees to a Brighter Future

Afghanistan is once again the victim of international politics as the American-backed regime toppled on August 15 and the Taliban have assumed power. Our lecture will look at the repeated pattern of violence and destruction that has been Afghanistan’s lot in the past 30 years, and the situation in the country now. We will hear from Beacon of Hope: a Canadian-based NGO that has been providing educational resources for children in Afghanistan, as well as the perspectives of two Afghan women working in Canada to assist Afghan families reunite and build there lives again. Lastly, we will discuss local campaigns and resources and where we can all help out.

Hosted by

ZARGHOONA WAKIL, Senior Manager, Specialized and Innovative Programs at MOSAIC BC.

Zarghoona is an International Medical Doctor, specialized in Internal Medicine, has a Master of Public Health degree from Simon Fraser University. She has experience in healthcare and in the settlement field in BC.

Having worked with MOSAIC BC in various capacities, she currently oversees a large cluster of specialized programs that serve diverse communities and includes various programs, including MOSAIC BC health promotion programs.

Zarghoona is involved in several local and national partnerships including BC Health Coalition, Primary Care Network, PREV Net, Surrey Local Immigration Partnership, and the Resilience BC Anti-racism Network in Surrey. She is the Chair of the board of directors of Umbrella Multicultural Health Coop and is a Co-Chair of the Steering Committee at BC Health Coalition, Co-Chair of the Community Alliance of Racialized and Ethnocultural Services (CARES) for Equitable Health, member of the Local Leadership Table for Burnaby Primary Care Network and member of the BC Community Health Centers Partnership Table. Additionally, she is involved in advocacy for innovation in healthcare services to improve the quality and equity of the healthcare system.

Speakers for the event

FROOZAN JOOYA – Executive Director: Beacon of Hope

Froozan’s passion for non for profit sector is a direct result of her lived experiences as an Afghan- Canadian woman who desired to give back to her communities, both in her current home and her motherland.
Froozan has an extensive experience in community engagement, fundraising and advocacy work for Afghan women and children.
Froozan is the founder and Executive Director of Beacon of Hope for Afghan Children’s Society -a non-profit organization which provides financial, educational and medical supports to children in Afghanistan.
Froozan holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Social Work and a  master’s degree in Social Work from University of British Columbia.

As a humanitarian, Froozan believes in respect and equality for all and strongly advocates for Afghan children who are an integral part of society. She believes healthy development of children is crucial to the future well-being of any society.

FATIMA HAIDARI – Co-facilitator for the Survivors Advocate Training Program at VAST 

My name is Fatima Haidari (فاطمه حیدری); I was born in Afghanistan. My pronouns are she and her. I belong to the Hazara community, an ethnic group in Afghanistan. My ethnicity plays a huge role in my refugee journey and the fact that I had to leave my family behind at the age of 17. I am a former refugee; I settled in Turtle Island in 2015 when I was only 17 years old without my family. I have studied at Langara College for two years. Currently, I am studying a joint major in Criminology and Gender Studies at Simon Fraser University. I have worked and volunteered with different non-profit organizations in different capacities such as facilitator, co-facilitator, interpreter, and other roles. In my free time, I like to go hiking, biking, watch documentaries, comedy, and volunteering in community. I am passionate about social activism, refugee rights, Hazara history, advocacy, and giving back to the community in any way. My lived experiences as a former refugee brought me closer to the issues that impact refugees. In addition, I have a very special connection to nature, and land because I grew up in a village called Maknak Malistan in Ghanzi province.

GULALAI HABIB – Director: Settlement and Integration Programs – Burnaby Neighbourhood House

Working with displaced populations in Canada and abroad for over 25 years, Gulalai Habib is a former Program Officer with UNDP; experienced in community centred engagement in Central/South Asian regions; and involved with grassroots women’s mobilization and community organizing among displaced populations.

Since coming to Canada, she worked for over fourteen years with the Resettlement Assistance Program of ISSofBC, with direct oversight of the Syrian operation, and intimate involvement in the broader restructuring of Settlement sector spaces to include the lived expertise of refugee/migrant professionals. She went on in this capacity to cultivate a community-centred settlement vision, and currently serves as the Director of Settlement and Integration Programs at Burnaby Neighbourhood House; and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Economic Council.

Presented by MAP in partnership with:

MAP's In Focus Series

IN FOCUS is a MAP BC Information Working Group initiative designed to open public dialogue on important refugee claimant issues. The four-part online lecture series, open to everyone, ties local to international refugee claimant issues. IN FOCUS invites well known speakers to address issues of concern and converse directly with participants in open Q&A periods.