Kravis Prize winner Sakena Yacoobi is working to establish a mentoring partnership in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. How did the founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) end up working in Canada? In an interview with the Star Pheonix, Yacoobi spoke about the importance of mentors to professional growth and her partnership with Betty-Ann Heggie, a former vice president of Potash Corp., to create a mentorship program for six Afghani women at Saskatoon’s Edwards School of Business.

While discussing the business school’s “womentorship” program, Yacoobi said AIL’s students “are doing a wonderful job right now in Afghanistan … but if they come here and they are exposed to a different system and different environment, they will be able to be very creative and innovative … and will have a great impact in the society of Afghanistan.”

Yacoobi believes the program will build a bridge between Canada and Afghanistan, creating a better sense of understanding between both countries. “The women of Afghanistan are very strong; they are very intelligent,” said Yacoobi. “If the environment is given to them they are very fast learners.”