Iran’s Mother Teresa passes away at 91
TEHRAN - Ashraf Qandehari-Bahadorzadeh was a humanitarian and the co-founder of the Kahrizak nursing home, south of Tehran.
She devoted her life to helping those in need and was praised and honored for her charity works. She joined the founding committee of Kahrizak in 1972 and helped building the charity complex as we know it today.
In her interviews she has described Kahrizak at the time of taking on its responsibility as “…a wreckage with two small rooms and full of stink. Patients were in the worst possible condition. There wasn’t any healthy water and you could see the lack of amenities. Also the stack of trash worsened the situation.”
She couldn’t bring herself to leave the place in that state, so she talked to Dr. Mohammad Reza Hakimzadeh (the late founder of Kahrizak) and decided to help improve the place. Now Kahrizak has been developed into a town in south of Tehran and has a campus covering 420,000 sq.m. with 130,000 sq.m of built-up area. 500 male and 1100 female patients reside in 22 separate units. About two thirds of the patients are elderly and one third are physically disabled. The patients are so satisfied and well provided that “They don’t like to go back home,” as Qandehari stated.
She was also the founder of The Ladies Charitable Society consisting of 3000 members today, who were among the first to rush to the rescue in Roudbar earthquake. They took in about 650 orphans. Later they did the same with Bam's earthquake survivors. Now, they support 500 disadvantaged women and children.
In 2014, Qandehari received an honorary award from Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard, the then first deputy speaker of Majlis (the Iranian parliament).
Qandehari's some other contributions and activities include performing voluntary service in Kahrizak, holding art courses for disadvantaged women, writing books on managing the charity groups and their activities and doing many international activities on Entrepreneurship.
Qandehari-Bahadorzadeh passed away on February 23, 2017 at the age of 91. May she rest in peace!