Aga Khan Education Service, Afghanistan, Hosts a Special Event in Celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Birthday
Like millions of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims across the world, teachers, staff and students from the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) marked the 84th birthday of His Highness the Aga Khan. The celebratory event paid tribute to the tremendous contribution and impact that His Highness has made to the upliftment of communities around the world, including Afghanistan.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). For over 60 years, the AKDN has dedicated itself to improving the living conditions and opportunities for people in specific regions of the developing world. In 1996, the AKDN - through its agency FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, - distributed food aid during the country’s civil war. After signing a Cooperation Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2002, AKDN formally expressed its commitment to serving the needs of the people of Afghanistan. This also led to the formation of the Aga Khan Education Service in Afghanistan – marking a commitment to providing access to quality education and opportunities for local young people.
Najeebullah Musafirzada, Chief Executive Officer of AKES in Afghanistan invited the staff to join together and celebrate the collective support they have received, commenting: “In recognition of His Highness the Aga Khan’s innumerable efforts and contribution for the development and social upliftment of Afghanistan, it is important that we celebrate this day and appreciate the support of His Highness to Afghan people.”
He also reflected on 2020 and acknowledged the incredible work of the AKES team who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to maintain learning continuity for students and the wellbeing of the staff and student community. Speaking about the remit of the AKDN’s work and the impact of AKES at a grassroots level, he remarked:
“AKDN agencies have worked under the guidance of His Highness for more than two decades in Afghanistan to work towards eradicating poverty, improving education and healthcare, and protecting the most vulnerable, mainly women and children. AKES Afghanistan - as the leading agency for education - has achieved outstanding results and worked to improve the academic ability of Afghan children in the locations where AKES has its presence.”
Photos (top to bottom):
- AKES Afghanistan’s celebratory event paid tribute to the tremendous contribution and impact that His Highness has made to the upliftment of communities around the world, including Afghanistan (photo taken prior to COVID-19).
- The AKDN has worked in Afghanistan under the guidance of His Highness for over 20 years and AKES has made a commitment to providing access to quality education and opportunities for local young people (photo taken prior to COVID-19).