The 2018 Award was presented to Ms. Lael Mohib at the WCI International Conference in Washington, D.C., by Caroline Adair Dimmers, daughter of founder Marian Adair.

2018 Marian Adair Award Recipient
Ms. Lael Mohib

Lael Mohib is founder and director of the Enabled Children Initiative, a U.K. and U.S. registered charity that supports and advocates for Afghan orphans with special needs. During her husband’s tenure as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ms. Mohib volunteered at the Embassy, focusing on women’s empowerment, social, cultural, and educational programs.

Ms. Lael Mobi’s initiatives have included organizing the Afghan Disability Rights Conference with Georgetown University and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and leading the Embassy’s involvement in the Embassy Adoption Program, a cultural education program with local public schools. She has also been an active member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, helping to accelerate the Council’s advocacy work and women’s economic empowerment initiatives. She has also worked to keep the doors of the Embassy open to the Afghan diaspora, in the Washington community, and the wider public in an effort to foster understanding and communication between Americans and Afghans. She has been an active supporter of the Embassy Dialogue Series for Peace and Understanding, which aims to create dialogue and understanding between Muslim nation embassies and the American public.

She previously worked for the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development with village development councils, before joining BBC Media Action’s Afghanistan team, where she worked on educational and media development programs. She most recently served as Chief of Staff at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.

Ms. Mohib studied communications at Mary Baldwin College, graduating summa cum laude. In 2006, she traveled across India to conduct interviews for her undergraduate thesis “Voices of India: Dialectical Tensions in the Negotiation of Identity and Cultural Values in a Globalized Society.” In 2008, she traveled to Cyprus to conduct research on post-conflict communication amongst Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In 2008, she received the university’s Global Citizenship Award and Most Outstanding Communication Student Award.

She has written op-eds for the New York Times and Foreign Policy and contributed a chapter on Afghan children with disabilities to the anthology Children of Afghanistan: the Path to Peace published by the University of Texas press in 2013.

Born and raised in the southeast of the United States, she met her husband in Kabul in 2009 and has since called Afghanistan her adopted home. She and her husband, Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, have two young children, a daughter, and son.

The 2016 Award was presented to Helena Kroftová Leisztner (center) by WCI President Maria Fernanda Arduino at the WCI International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Alena Klenot (left) and Maria Walker are also pictured.

2016 Marian Adair Award Recipient
Helena Kroftová Leisztner

A graduate of the University of Economics, Faculty of Commerce in Prague and studies in sculpture.

Founder member of Friends of the National Museum of Women’s Art (FNMWA), member of Women’s Forum. From an early age, she was active in the arts, she was a designer and donated the clothing of her winning collections to charities. She cooperated with a theater, led a choir and devoted herself to moderation, interpreting and organizing exhibitions. For 8 years she worked at the Argentinian embassy for the media and cultural departments. She then left to work abroad for 7 years, where she organized exhibitions, started her own business and continued with her artistic activities. She worked in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Thailand, Brazil, Central America.

After returning to the Czech Republic, Helena devoted herself to charitable activities, PR-Marketing, and organizing exhibitions and gala dinners for VIPs from political, business and cultural life of the Czech Republic and foreign companies. She has exhibited and presented in art-fashion shows in the Czech Republic and abroad. Her works are used in industrial design, and she is currently lecturing and consulting on art.

Helena is the author of artistic projects, Praga Caput Regni, Venice Infinity and Colours of Women, patron of Women Ltd., and publishes articles on art in Czech and foreign media, including her own book, Fine Art, which is kept in the National Library of New York and Florence.

She is the author of clothes on national theme, historical symbols, logos, and stage costumes in national colors, which were used at the opening of the International Biennial of Art in 2005. Helena was the first to use her new national costume at many international competitions, e.g. Miss Earth-Manila, Miss Universe-Mexico, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur and others.

She won the prize at Talent 90, prize of Masaryk Academy of Arts for her synthesis of visual arts, and was nominated for an award Woman of the Year for Culture.

In 2011, Helena represented the Czech Republic at the International Exhibition of Modern Art, where 27 authors of the 27 EU countries exhibited in Paris – La Coupole – under the auspices of Rotary International. Furthermore, at the International Exhibition of Modern Art-Vibo Valentia, Italy, Palace E. Gagliardi, she received an international award for her 11 paintings of the Venice Infinity-San Marco, and a mask of a woman with a 3-D effect.

Helena is actively organizing mainly art auctions, the proceeds of which are donated to various charities whose activities range from training of guard dogs for the blind to support of young women artists in the fields of visual arts, music, and design.

The 2014 Award was presented to Hourvash Pourkian (left) at the WCI International Conference in Hamburg, Germany by Steve Dimmers
and Caroline Adair Dimmers, son and daughter of founder Marian Adair.

2014 Marian Adair Award Recipient
Hourvash Pourkian

Hourvash Pourkian has contributed significantly to the cultural conversation that exists between cultures in Hamburg. Born in Tehran, Iran and educated in Germany, the U.S.A. and London, England, she has been a businesswomen, author, social political advisor and entrepreneur, and served in other capacities, most notably as creator and moderator of the television program, “Kulturbrücke” (Culture Bridge) and most recently, the creator of ‘Switch’, a program that introduces and educates families and children to the many diverse cultures living in Hamburg. She brings her passion and vision for more interaction, education and harmony between cultures and peoples.

The 2012 Award was presented to Slavica Park (left) at the WCI International Conference in Denver, Colorado by Caroline Adair Dimmers, daughter of founder Marian Adair.

2012 Marian Adair Award Recipient
Slavica Park

Slavica Park was born in Bosnia. She was a teaching assistant in the Center for Higher Education in Derventa, Bosnia. She left Bosnia for Germany in 1991. As a Social Worker in a major international relief organization, Slavica aided clients from the former Yugoslavia, and counseled people with post trauma stress syndrome. In 1997, Slavica received a BA in Psychology from University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Slavica came to the United States in 1977 under refugee status and enrolled at the Emily Griffith Technical College, Denver,  working at night as a janitor to pay tuition. Currently, Slavica is Dean of the Language Center at Emily Griffith Technical College.

Slavica serves on the boards of the Colorado Refugee Network Council and the Colorado Literacy Coalition. She also took part in the US Department of State’s World Learning exchange program which looked at marginalized populations and immigrant integration.

Slavica has persevered through adversity. She has worked to advance women and men who are marginalized. She is a remarkable woman.

The 2010 Award was presented to Mrs. Lydia Wong Ling (left) at the WCI International Conference in Porto Alegre Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil by Caroline Adair Dimmers, daughter of founder Marian Adair.

2010 Marian Adair Award Recipient
Lydia Wong Ling

Mrs. Lydia Wong Ling started her volunteer work at the women’s league against Cancer in 1971 in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. In 1995 her family founded the Ling Foundation which has given 110 scholarships to Brazilians to take post-graduate courses in Brazil and abroad. She is chairwoman of the Women’s League against Cancer helping women and children wtih prevention and treatment of Cancer through personal volunteerism and donation of funds. We are in awe of Mrs. Ling and are very thankful to her for contributing in the fight against Cancer.

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