The Executive Director
Pashtana Rasoul is the Executive Director of AFCECO as of July 2016. Pashtana came to AFCECO at 8 years of age in 2003. Prior to arriving at AFCECO, Pashtana and her younger siblings roamed the dusty streets and grimy alleyways of Peshawar city every day selling water in order to earn desperately needed money for their family based at a refugee camp in the outskirts of Peshawar city. Born to a lieutenant who served in the Afghan army, Pashtana and her family fled their home in Afghanistan and settled in a refugee camp when her father was captured and retained as prisoner by a Jehadi war faction. When AFCECO founder Andeisha Farid visited the camp in which Pashtana was living, Pashtana was one of several children that caught her eye as good candidates for AFCECO’s child sponsorship program. Quickly after Pashtana’s profile was posted on AFCECO’s website, she was sponsored by a U.S.-based donor, launching Pashtana on a journey to an AFCECO’s orphanage. Here, she began a new life in an environment entirely different from where she came from.
During her time at AFCECO, Pashtana has participated in a number of AFCECO initiatives, such as an intensive leadership workshop for all 9th-11th grade female students at Mehan Orphanage in September 2010 through an award granted to Andeisha Farid by Fortune Magazine and Goldman Sachs Women Leaders Mentoring Award. As part of this workshop, along with two other top-performing AFCECO students, Pashtana was selected to travel to the U.S. to participate in a 3-month mentorship program. Two years later, through Vital Voices’ Global Ambassadors Program award granted to AFCECO in September 2012, Pashtana and many other young girls further enhanced their leadership skills.
In 2014, AFCECO’s Founder and Chairperson Andeisha Farid delegated her then role of Executive Director to a Management Team composed of AFCECO graduates. Manizha Rahimi assumed the role as Executive Director as part of the Management Team, and Pashtana held the role of Chief Operations Manager. This was quite a challenging experience for all members of the Team including Pashtana, who soon grew into a committed and successful young administrator. As Chief Operations Manager, Pashtana travelled with AFCECO music students to Europe, the Middle East, Turkmenistan and recently Turkey. She also accompanied Andeisha on a 3-month fundraising tour to the US in 2015 during which she participated in several events as a keynote speaker and raised considerable funds for the orphanages.
When Manizha’s term as Executive Director concluded in 2016, she passed the baton to Pashtana as new Executive Director of AFCECO. As Executive Director, Pashtana gives back to her society what has been given to her in the orphanage for 13 years. Pashtana feels her journey from street child in Peshawar to executive of a prestigious organization has been unbelievable.