A lot has changed with the Afghan Dreamers since their last visit to Canada 2 years ago. We reached out to them to reminisce about their visit. The Afghan Dreamers have inspired many around the world not just in the FIRST community but beyond!

  1. What role has FIRST Canada played in your team’s ongoing development and growth?

FIRST has played an important role in our understanding of Robotics, the team works, build strategy and alliances during the competition. We had limited knowledge of Robotics when we came to Canada first but with the help of great mentors in 3  weeks, we learnt how to work with machines to cut our Robots parts, coding, building strategy, learn to drive the robots and be ready for the competition, we also learned about the new culture, English and had the amazing experience of a homestay. We had an amazing lifetime learning experience there and so grateful to have that opportunity.

2. During your visit here, what was it about Canada surprised you most?

Every day, we were surprised as everything was new for us. Candian were very hospitable and warm. We really loved our FIRST family, Thuvishan, Kim, Arti and Jash who was helping us with everything we needed. 

We had the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister, politicians and with many tech companies. 

3. What are your biggest needs as a team right now?

We have the same problems as many other teams, access to funding, materials, and educational content in our languages.

4. What are your major accomplishments?

Winning the Rookie All-Star award at a York University District event in Canada, District Championship Rookie All-Star Award at the Ontario Provincial Championship and the Rookie Inspiration Award sponsored by National Instruments in the World Championship as well as being a two-time winner of the Asia Game Changer and helping to build the first school of STEAM in Afghanistan with the support of the Afghan Government while inspiring millions of kids around the world

5. What’s your biggest wish for your future?  (This could be a team question or a question for individuals on the team.)

Somaya: I would like to see one the Afghan Dreamer Institute will be running one day soon and many more kids have the opportunity to learn about aI and Robotics. 

Nahid: I want to be a software engineer and have my own company one day. 

Elham: I want to go to the World Championship one day.

6. Would you like to visit Canada again?

Yes, we would love to have the opportunity to come back to Canada and maybe this time to study there. The first experience was amazing and we will never forget it. And I hope the new team has the same experience as we have had. 

7. Would you like to shout out or hello to anyone here in Canada?

I would like to give a big shout out to FIRST Canada for their kind hospitality, we really appreciate their effort and support. Also, say hello to our friends there. We miss you all. Please stay safe and healthy in this crazy time.