AUAF honours former US ambassador
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Friends of the American University in Afghanistan on Thursday honoured former US ambassador Ryan Croker for his immense contribution to the country’s development at a fundraising dinner here.
Croker received the award from Friends of the American University in Afghanistan (AUAF) in recognition of his commitment to the advancement of education in his campus visits, engagement with students, and funding for scholarships for women.
“These scholarships have contributed directly to a steep rise in female students who are now enrolled, studying and thriving on campus,” said Leslie Schweitzer, AUAF chair and president.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who is Afghan Women’s Task Force Co-Chair, also spoke on the occasion.
Over the last decade the US and its partners had helped Afghans realise goals of self-governance and progress, said the former Afghan ambassador to the US, Said T Jawad. They had helped the people illuminate the vision for a future where Afghanistan was self-sufficient and strong, he added.
“A large part of this vision depends on empowering and relying upon Afghanistan’s women,” remarked Jawad, founder of the Washington-based Foundation for Afghanistan. “True economic prosperity and peace can only come from harnessing the myriad talents and courage of Afghan women.”
Sultana Hakimi, wife of the Afghan ambassador to the US, said women in her country had to overcome extremely difficult obstacles to achieve success. “Despite their progress, many challenges still remain, which is why it’s critical that long-term support is sustained.”
AUAF’s new International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development, which will open in April 2013, would serve as a place of innovation and hope for Afghan women to be self-sufficient economically empowered, Hakimi said.
The annual benefit supports female scholarships, the university’s greatest need, and programmes at the International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development, which will coordinate international and national efforts to advance the role of women in Afghanistan’s economy.
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