Author: CEN

Founding Member Message

Introduction to CEN


In Afghanistan the definition of civil society in the form of organizations and groups also includes shuras, jirgas, Community Development Councils and other traditional structures and representatives such as the ulemah or maliks. Due to traditionally weak structures It can be debated which actors should be included in the definition of civil society. Examples of civil society actors in Afghanistan include NGOs but also other social, ethnic, religious, women’s, youth, arts, trade unions, traditional, tribal or clan groups, and others that are active in promoting a given cause these different organizations have been a vibrant side of Afghanistan’s governance relations and have continued to play an important role influencing government and its decision-making.

Following these assumptions, the expectations from establishing “Civil society Empowerment Network” CEN, are the following topics:

  • Role of civil society in political decision-making processes and government’s accountability;
  • Principal challenges and opportunities for civil society in keeping the government accountable, transparent and responsive to the needs of the population;
  • Strategies / recommendations towards an: Enhanced contribution of civil society in government decision making processes and strengthened accountability and transparency of the government.

Since especially civil society actors in the provinces play an important role as intermediary of the local population – but are not yet sufficiently integrated in the overall debate. The civil society has been playing an important role in the overall structure in Afghanistan since the catastrophe and crisis soon after the fail invasion of former USSRR red army.

Since then the NGOs played different strategic roles that suited the needs of the time for the needy people of Afghanistan.

In 2008 coordination of Afghan Relief (CoAR), Organization for Sustainable Development and Research (OSDR), and Skills Training and Rehabilitation Society (STARS) took the initiative of establishing an active network. The move came to make the relationship between these organizations more systematic and formal after cooperating with each other in different areas proved to be more productive.

Furthermore, the initiative of establishing this network is in accordance with the NGOs Law; Article 9 which states that Non-governmental organizations can enter into partnership and networks to improve, expand or implement their activities and projects. Also the current trends and the need for reconstruction of Afghanistan lend sufficient justification.

The Civil Society Empowerment Network (CEN) is a net where NGOs discusses issues of the country and region particularly on the situation of peace, Humanitarian and development cases.

CEN Members

The second issue for CEN is the empowerment of civil society and contributing to strengthening the capacity of CEN members anticipated analyze, prevent and respond to threats to the stability and human development posed by violent conflict and crisis in Afghanistan. The CEN membership geographically and thematically helped the CEN organization to reach to all the remote areas and contribute to information dissemination in the country.

This is indisputable fact that CSOs has an important role to play in driving change and innovation in democracy for sustainable development, CEN members are operating on bases of networking, skill development and advocacy and interventions at community level for mobilization and community’s empowerment, our strategic interventions is to provide support to the civil society organization by strengthening the capacities of their organization and the quality of their programs.

This is based on genuine reflection on the nature, roles, achievements, failures, challenges and opportunities found within the sector and that developing and strengthening organizational and technical capacity will maximize the potential within the sector to provide the needed leadership responsive to the promotion of the common good. Our interventions for the next five years will provide the network for effective implementation, scaling up and collective action. By clearly identifying our positions, we intend to focus our activities on the strategy developed for strategic plan (Securing sustainable development and human dignity Strategic Plan CEN 2012-2017 Arne Strand October 2012).

The non-profit sector is facing demanding social challenges, increasing competition, duplication and isolation all these amidst little resources by building stronger and value based partnership we hope to achieve that which we cannot achieve on our own.

We propose to enhance networking as a strategy to strengthen institutional and sustainable development interventions. This will help in providing connections and build critical thinking across the various sector.

We propose to strengthen our relationship with the government for join programs development and effective coordination improve collaboration and strengthen linkages among the member to enable mutual learning and increase programs quality promote networking with local/urban based organization for scaling up and impact. Support and strengthen local structures for easy administration of members’ activities in the region.

Aid to Afghanistan is decreasing and there has been a drop in the amount of money given to civil society organization. There is a hope to have productive results of debates and struggling CSOs after WHS in 2016 Istanbul, Turkey to ensure the rights of National NGOs by pursuing a joint voice for LOCALIZATION and Big Bargain.

We, therefore, propose to do the following:

Cultivating a relationship with the government and private sectors to expand the resource base thus ensuring the future sustainability and stability of our humanitarian and development work, assume a leadership role on behalf of the members, by becoming a valuable source of information.

Provide capacity building opportunities on different techniques for resource mobilization strengthen member’s communication and marketing skills leading to better image profiling.

With increasing number of membership CEN is thinking of facilitating a networking platform among the existing networks in Afghanistan in order to build sustainable partnership and better incorporate the efforts being made by the civil society and other like-minded actors in Afghanistan.

Founding Member Message

Sharq Institute of Higher Education Students graduation ceremony

The Graduation Party was held at 09:00 A.M. —02:00 P.M, Saturday, April 7, 2018 in Khalij Hall, Kabul, Afghanistan. First of all, the graduation party was commenced by reciting some verses of the Holy Quran. Secondly, the graduated students and the chief guests and the lecturers of Sharq Institute of Higher Education were invited to take their seats in the hall. Following the lecturers, graduated students and chief guests, and overall participants, all the participants in the party stood for playing the National Anthem of Afghanistan.


Totally more than 1200 people including 304 graduated students and their parents, representative from Government ministries, Kabul university, NNGOS, INNGOS, UN, HAND-Think Tank, CSOs, parliament, Private sectors were participated.

At the beginning of convocation, Dr. Muhammad Naeem Salimee, the chancellor of Sharq Institute of Higher Education delivered a fruitful speech to the graduated students and participants. His message is narrated in the following section of this report.

Chancellor of Sharq Institute of Higher Education, Dr. Muhammad Naeem Salimee’s Speech

“In the name of Allah Almighty; I would like to welcome Dr. Kamal Saadat the Deputy Minister in Youth affairs from the Ministry of Culture and Information, the ANDMA and HAND Think Tank representatives and all the guests here in the hall. I would like to congratulate all the students who are celebrating their graduation in this convocation party.”

“It was my long-term dream to participate in such a graduation party– it is a huge success. We could not have achieved the success without the involvement of all the participators present here in this party. The participators here are not here to be only audiences, but I would like to clearly say that it was you who facilitated today’s success.”

“There has been unprecedented progress and development taking place in the world; I would like to share some information from a United Nation agency UNDP report which has recently been published. The report suggests that life expectancy and overall income of the people in developing countries have dramatically increased, as 4 out of 5 people can read and write in the mentioned countries. Additionally, the income of people has increased 3 times during the past 25 years in developing countries, so the gap between rich and poor is shrinking day after day. What counts amazing is the speed of progress in these countries; the speed is 4.6 percent faster of developing countries in comparison with developed nations.”

“Dear students, you are living in a completely different situation and the situation is fraught with challenges. As a citizen of this country, I have many experiences and my experiences suggest that you should not be only seeking convenience and prosperity. You should not be expecting to be bosses and have many subordinators, but you should have compassion and a sense of sympathy if how you can be at the service of war-ravaged people of your country.”

“Dear students, you have studied for four years in situation which has always been challenging–  after so many difficulties today you are celebrating one of the most important events of your life—graduation! Today, you are about to receive the valuable documents of successfully completing the undergraduate program at Sharq Institute of Higher Education; you have the right to celebrate it with joy and thrill.”

“Your graduation party reminds me the time when we were thinking to be at the service of people not only other sectors in CoAR but also in education sector as well. At the end I would like to thank all people who have contributed in today’s success such as Khuda Bakhsh who is always cleaning the building and is at your service—also the guards who contribute in securing you and I would like to thank all the parents who have contributed in sending their kids to study and achieve one of the basic goals and finally I would like to recommend that you dear students should in contact with one another and do not forget each other. I would like to congratulate you from the bottom of my heart and may Allah bring eternal peace in our country.”


Dr. Mohammad Naeem Salimee
Dr. Mohammad Naeem Salimee

Zainullah Safi, the Vice Chancellor in Academic Affairs of the institute was the second person to have delivered the speech. He welcomed and congratulated all the participants for the event. His speech address is as following:

Zainullah Safi’s Speech

I would like welcome the Chancellor of Sharq Institute of Higher Education, his Excellency Dr. Mohammad Naeem ‘Salimee’; Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Dr. Kamal Saadat from the Ministry of Information and Culture —also, I would like to welcome and thank representatives from ANDMA, Hand -Think Tank and private sectors to the 2018 Convocation Ceremony of Sharq Institute of Higher Education. I would also like to welcome lecturers, students and their families; staff of Sharq Institute of Higher Education and all the respectable guests to graduation party.

Hopefully, today Sharq Institute of Higher Education is graduating 304 students from Bachelor’s in Disaster Management, Computer Science and Bachelor’s in Business Administration bachelor disciplines. I am expressing my heartfelt thanks to the founder of the institute and all the lecturers and staff for their genuine efforts and services in facilitating quality education to the energetic young generation.

It is my pleasure to thank all the families who contributed and allowed their family members to study to study at Sharq Institute of Higher Education in very tough and security-wise critical situation of Afghanistan. The newly undergraduate students will definitely contribute in bringing prosperity in their families, society and their hometown.

Dear graduate students, although you have taken a fruitful step in acquiring education, yet it is not enough. More needs to be done in order to gain perfection in terms acquiring education. You are supposed to opt for graduate and post-graduate programs of master’s and PhD. Twenty first century requires extensive quality education and professionalism in order to compete in the globalized world.

In order to achieve your further education, Sharq Institute of Higher Education which has been found in 2012 will facilitate opportunities to acquire further education and gain better perfection.

During the past 6 years, Sharq Institute of Higher Education has been deeply involved in contributing and facilitating services; some of them are mentioned below:


Sharq Institute of Higher Education has formulated the most standard curriculum. The curriculum is based on market demand and 21 century requirement. What counts important is English Language, as medium of instruction at the institute.

Professional Cadres

Sharq Institute of Higher Education is proud to have professional cadres ranging from graduate to post-graduate lecturers.

Academic Environment

Students, both male and female study based on Afghan Cultural principles in peaceful, harmonious and elegant academic environment.

Future Plans

Fundamental efforts are being taken place at Sharq Institute of Higher Education to impart much more quality education to Afghan citizens so, authorities at Sharq Institute of Higher Education are trying to improve the quality in education and to upgrade the institute to university level.

Thanks for your attention and congratulations again.

Zainullah "Safi"
Zainullah “Safi”

ANDMA representative was also among the chief guest to deliver his fruitful speech in the graduation party. Some important points of his speech are as following:

Speech of ANDMA Representative (Eng.Ezatullah Sediqi )

First and foremost, the ANDMA representative welcomed all the guest and participants at the graduation party and recalled a hadith on importance of knowledge “Those who know and do not know are not equal.”

He emphasized that it is important to have a sense of self-recognition first and next,  to have recognition of Allah Almighty. He also added that Allah Almighty has created human beings to live and build the world

The ANDMA representative reminded the students that being a bachelor is not enough and students have make a lot of effort to gain perfection and their undergraduate program is the initial step in terms of approaching to perfection and success.

Furthermore, he emphasized the role of young generation in eliminating the stigma of corruption in Afghanistan and insisted the students to be very honest in whatever they do, so it will contribute great in eliminating corruption in the country.

The representative also recommended the students to set great goals in order to be great in the future. He further emphasized on learning English Language as tool of gaining knowledge and transformation and besides insisting on learning English, he encouraged the students to be curious in gaining perfection in terms of learning management. He said that students should do their best to learn about management by taking more study courses in the mentioned field.

The ANDMA representative also elaborated the difficulty in seeking job for new graduates—he said that the problem is general and it is not your fault but it because there are too many people involved and different administrations can provide you with new jobs immediately, so the students have to be very patient in this regard. He further elaborated that there is dire need for people to have expertise in disaster management and environmental protection. Finally, he thanked all the participants, particularly parents in the graduation party.

Eng.Ezatullah Seddiqi-ANDMA
Eng.Ezatullah Seddiqi-ANDMA


The next guest of ceremony was Dr. Kamal Sadat ( the deputy Minister for culture and information ) who is the deputy minister of youth affairs in the ministry of Culture and Information. He briefly spoke about the role of mothers in educating their offspring.  He credited all the mothers for the achievement and further elaborated that young people can play significant role in bringing peace in Afghanistan. Finally, he congratulated all the participants from the bottom of his heart.

Dr. Kamal Sadat
Dr. Kamal Sadat


Dr.Saadat was followed in speech address by Khan Steel representative( Eng.Qareeb -u – Rahman Shahab ). The representative congratulated the guests and participants and promised that Khan Steel Company will sign an MOU with Sharq Institute of Higher Education which will facilitate job opportunity for majority of the graduated students of the institute.

At the final stages of the party, gifts were distributed to the high ranking official and lecturers of the institute followed by graduation certificates were distributed to the graduated students. Moreover, the oath taking ceremony was held as   the students were given Commitment Letters and the students took oath to be genuinely at the service of the people.  Hashmatullah Rohani, the Acting Vice Chancellor strongly recommended the students to be honestly at the service of their country.

The contents of the commitment Letter are as follow:

“I as a graduate student from Sharq Institute of Higher Education am committed to afraid of Allah and I will be at the service of my people and country based on Islamic principles, observing the national interests of my country.”


Engineer Abdul Halim Halim Managing Director of CoAR was the last person to give the speech in the party. The core points in his speech were congratulation to the newly graduated students and their parents, in the meantime he appreciated all the efforts of the people who were involved in the establishment process of this Institute of Higher education, recommending the students to make further efforts in terms of seeking higher education and service to the nation.

He repeated CoAR’s Commitment against SHARQ Institute of Higher Education as following:

  • CoAR committed to support SHARQ administration for Standard and Modern Higher Education.
  • CoAR do their best to facilitate the employment opportunities for SHARQ graduated students with in CoAR, CEN, UN, NNGOs,INGOs, Government departments and Private sector


Finally, the party was formally ended by Nisar Ahmad Jahid, one of the lecturers at Sharq Institute of Higher Education, recited the prayer and by invoking Allah Almighty to bring overall propensity in Afghanistan.

Sympathy message on the death of Nancy H. Dupree

Coordination of Afghan Relief (CoAR)

Sympathy message on the death of Nancy H. Dupree,

I am deeply saddened by the news of Nancy Hatch Dupree passing. We will surely miss the presence of a truly friend and kind person for Afghan nation. Our thoughts and Condolence are with her family.

Nancy H. Dupree

A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. My memories of Nancy will be always remembered for her dedication to the people of Afghanistan, her travels in early 1990 with me to the provinces of Ghazni, Wardak and Logar, talking to the hopeless Afghan women and children and providing ABLE (mobile libraries) for rural villages and many more, she will not be forgotten.

The Measure of a person: Not – “how did he/she die” But – “how did he/she live” Not – “what did she/he gain” But – “what did he/she give” These are the units to measure the worth of a person.

When I Look back on all the good memories Nancy was able to have and smile at the fact that she was able to share these before she passed away. A week before her pass away from this passing world I met her in Amiri clinic and she asked me “ I don’t know the reason of my being in hospital, I want to be with my Afghan people and help them”.

My last words would go to thank all the Afghan Nation for their heartfelt condolences and rewarding friendship with Nancy, particular thanks goes to ACKU management who have experienced very special generosity in the last years of Nancy’s life.

Nancy will be greatly missed but her warmth, kindness, and gentle spirit will be remembered forever.


Dr. Mohammad Naeem Salimee

Ex- Director General, CoAR

Kabul, Afghanistan







CEN application for membership with ICVA

CEN application for membership with ICVA:

On the 12/11/2014, Director General CoAR / Chairman of CEN Dr. Salimee visited Geneva, Switzerland.

During this visit director CoAR attended a workshop organized by ICVA titled “the role of National NGOs in HCTs”. In addition to this workshop represented by 14 countries, various meetings were facilitated by ICVA with ICRC, UN offices etc.

Meanwhile, CEN submitted its membership application to ICVA. CoAR is the member of HCT in Afghanistan.

CoAR membership in PHAP (2015-2016)

CoAR membership in PHAP (2015-2016)

CoAR is one of the largest National NGO working in Humanitarian sectors in Afghanistan for the past 26 years. Being a successful Humanitarian partner in the South-Central Asia with other like-minded organizations, recently CoAR leadership obtained the membership of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP).

This opportunity will further enhance knowledge and capacities of the CEN ( members at different level related to humanitarian action.

BIG Congratulation to CEN/CSOs members in Afghanistan 

We are currently facing humanitarian needs on a massive scale. In our rapidly changing world, we must continually seek better ways to meet the needs of millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters.

An initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, managed by UN OCHA, the first World Humanitarian Summit will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May 2016 and will bring together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future.

The World Humanitarian Summit is an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General. The first global summit on humanitarian action of this size and scope, it will be held in Istanbul on 23 – 24 May 2016. The goal of this summit is to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe.

The number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled over the past decade, and is expected to keep rising. Today, more people are affected by conflict and disaster, more frequently, and for longer than in previous decades. Humanitarian action must continue evolving in order to keep pace with our rapidly changing world and meet the needs of millions of people now and in years to come.

The last global discussion on humanitarian action took place almost 25 years ago. Since then, the humanitarian landscape has changed tremendously. There have been global economic shifts, demographic changes such as urbanization, and tremendous improvements in technology. At the same time, humanity is facing new challenges caused by global trends such as climate change and rapid population growth.

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) Regional Consultation for South and Central Asia was held at the Ismaili Centre Dushanbe in the capital of Tajikistan from 28 to 30 July 2015. It was co-hosted by the Government of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network, and chaired by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  This was the last of eight regional consultations.

In the spirit of the Summit’s multi-stakeholder approach, the consultation brought together nearly 200 participants from across the 16 countries covered by the regional consultation , representing academia, affected communities, civil society organizations, governments, media, national and international non-governmental organizations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, private sector, Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, regional organizations, United Nations (UN) agencies, programs and funds, youth, and observers from countries that have already hosted or will host World Humanitarian Summit consultations or events. The meeting was preceded by preparatory stakeholder consultations that involved over 7,640 people across the 16 countries.

From Afghanistan a group of participants including: Minister of Refugees, representative from foreign Affairs, chairman ACBAR, Kabul University/ Sharq Institute of Higher Education, Private sector ( AWCC, Ariana TV), affected communities from Badakhshan province and CEN chairman and Director General (CoAR) represented Afghanistan in this large gathering.

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Participation of the (CEN) in General Assembly of (WINGS FORUM) in Turkey

Participation of the (CEN) in General Assembly of (WINGS FORUM) in Turkey

Venue: Istanbul, Turkey

Date: 26-30 / April / 2014

The general assembly of the WINGS Forum have taken place in 26 up to 30 April in the city of Istanbul Turkey.

In the Mentioned assembly from civil society Empowerment Network –CEN, Coordination of Afghan Relief-CoAR has participated on behalf of Afghanistan’s Civil Society that more than 140 countries CSOs representatives have participated.

The next WINGS Forum Conference will take place in Mexico in 2017

Participation of CEN members in the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR in Bangkok Thailand

The AMCDRR global meeting took place on 22-26th June in Bangkok Thailand that more than 2,500 participants from all around the global such like government agencies, non-governmental, civil society and the United Nations came together that more than 800 were from civil society.

The aim of this world summit was to have discussion about the ten years back DRR achievements reports in which 160 country of the world joined the hands to cope against natural disasters, beside that at this Summit the future plans and the new procedures of coping with natural disasters has discussed, thereupon the draft this global discussion will be finalized in the next DRR conference which will be held in Sendai Japan in 2015.

As CEN members were also the part of this world summit and have their responsibilities to come together with their fellow citizens & cope with natural disasters and use their humanitarian technical power in this way.

The establishment of Gorbat Radio Television that through that the public awareness programs will be broadcast and the SHARQ University is the source where students can learn about the DRR knowledge.

Civil Society Advisory Committee to UNDP Afghanistan launched

Date 18 December, 2013-12-19

The Civil Society in Afghanistan played an important role in the historical imposed war on Afghanistan from 1979 till now. From the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 till now the Civil Society including NGOs have enormous outcomes and served the people of Afghanistan when there was no legitimate government in Afghanistan.

Fifteen National and International representatives from the Civil Society were selected out of the prominent and leading Civil Society organizations that are active in the sphere of Humanitarian and Development activities in Afghanistan with  strong networking in the region and globe for humanitarian reasons.

Among the Networks, ACBAR, ANCB, AWN, CEN and SWABAC to gather with a number of other Civil Society networks announced their cooperation with UNDP Afghanistan to support this initiative of UNDP as a Civil Society Advisory Committee to UNDP Afghanistan. This commitment was announced in a lunch meeting in Serena Hotel on 18 December, 2013.

The meeting was attended by the high level participants from UNDP Afghanistan. UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Mark Bowden expressed the hope that this initiative will facilitate the way of further relationship and development between the UNDP and Civil Society in Afghanistan.

This initiative is one of the strategic move of UNDP in its kind in Afghanistan, in this meeting the members of the CSAC expressed their individual and networks commitment to the Committee and from CEN/CoAR Dr.Naeem Salimee represented this committee meeting, hopefully for the next two years this committee with the UNDP will be able to produce resentful outcomes to be lesson learned for the country and as well in the rejoin.