Since 2014, the Afghan Community Center (ACC) in Malaysia has served a critical need for the community by connecting people with affordable and safe housing, access to education and job opportunities, and, perhaps most importantly, fostering a sense of cultural unity and social support.
URBAN REFUGEES is working with the ACC leaders to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan refugee community in Malaysia to protect, help and advocate for their own community. You can meet the amazing ACC team below :
Mohammad Mahdi was an active member of the Afghan refugee community in Iran before moving to Malaysia and joining the ACC leadership. The promotion of peace is Mohammad’s first goal for the organization, and he is working with URBAN REFUGEES so that the ACC can become “the links, the main hub, the focal point for support and information for Afghan refugees in Kuala Lumpur.”
Haji Mohammad Ali Sharifi
Mr Haji is the senior leader at ACC. He is in charge of managing social issues within the community. Mr Haji used to be a chef in Kaboul. He understands all the importance of leading a community and enabling each member of the team to thrive. ‘We need to create a sense of community’, he says, for the Afghan refugees to thrive in Malaysia.
Children can be afraid of going to the dentist; however, Khadija Hosseini, a former dentist’s assistant, understands how to transform fear into action. Teaching English and art to women and youth in the community, Khadija hopes to “improve the next generation.” Working with URBAN REFUGEES, and with women in particular, has been especially significant for Khadija, giving her “the energy to continue.”
After having served previously as a community leader in Malaysia, the Afghan community elected Nematullah Ahmadi in an effort to reinvigorate the ACC. “We have so many talents in our community,” Nematullah explains, “but no way to express them.” Working with URBAN REFUGEES, Nematullah is learning how the ACC can more effectively amplify the voices of community members.
Ali Akbar Ahmadi
With a black belt rank in Taekwondo, Ali Akbar Ahmadi understands the importance of concentration and determination. After living in Malaysia for two years, he decided to give back by teaching taekwondo classes to young children in the community. “Afghan refugees need to be able to solve daily problems such as finding jobs” and accessing public information and facilities such as hospitals, Ali Akbar explains. Through Taekwondo, children in the community are learning the value of persistence.
For Mohammad Zakarya, building and maintaining a community is all about mutual respect and cooperation. “ACC is a group of people that is not related to any political group, individual, religion, or special ethnicity,” he explains. Instead, Mohammad is proud that the Afghan refugee community in Malaysia is more concerned with helping one another succeed and thrive.
Nasrullah Sharifi is deeply connected to the Afghan refugee community, Afghani culture and heritage. Building on his experience working with local government officials to mediate local conflicts, Nasrullah is eager to enhance his project management skills. “We need those [capacity-building] trainings,” he says, in order to truly meet the diverse and complex needs of community members.
Our team is committed to help the Afghan urban refugee population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by training this amazing refugee leaders team so that they can improve their impact towards their community.
If you wish to support us, here is the way!