Farid moved to the United Kingdom in 1998, and founded Afghan Association Paiwand in 2002 alongside six other individuals, aiming to maintain Afghan cultural identity and pass on the community’s rich heritage to the next generation in the UK. Serving as the first chair for the organisation, Farid became Paiwand’s Volunteer Coordinator in 2005 and then ascended to the position of Director in 2010. He has played a salient role in the development of Paiwand, which began as an organisation focused on Afghan cultural issues, to one which provides a wide range of services to the multinational refugee and asylum-seeking community to facilitate integration.
Farid holds a Masters degree in law. Prior to the inception of Paiwand, he was the Director of a private company in Afghanistan for around 8 years, therefore possessing good knowledge of the operations of private businesses. Having started voluntary work in large organisations in Afghanistan at the early age of 16, he has always had the passion to help those in need and to foster the cultural identity of the Afghan community.
Farid asserts that he forgets about all the sleepless nights, pressure and tiredness when he sees that people in need benefit from the services provided by Paiwand, and is proud to serve as Director to such a hard-working, multicultural and passionate organisation.
Emily joined Paiwand in 2011, and now works as the Education Service Manager. Emily’s role is to oversee the delivery of classes at all 4 Saturday schools in Maths, English, Afghan Home Languages and adult learning.
Prior to joining Paiwand, Emily worked as a Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Coach at Vital Regeneration in Westminster. It was here that she developed a passion for supporting young people whose education had been disrupted through disadvantage or displacement. Training as a Wellbeing Coach in 2011, Emily focuses on delivering education projects with both an academic and holistic focus.
She holds a BA in History and an MA in Philosophy.
Emma joined Paiwand in February 2016, as the Service Advocacy Manager maternity cover for Sarah Wahby. As the Service Advocacy Manager, Emma supervises the wonderful hard-working team of Advocates in providing individual and group support to clients who approach our office and outreach centres in need of assistance with housing, immigration, health or accessing welfare and benefits.
Emma has a background in community-based programme management for refugees and asylum seekers, recently returning from Egypt, Cairo where she managed a refugee-led Psychosocial programme for unaccompanied refugees and asylum seeker children and youth at St Andrew’s refugee Services, Cairo. Emma is highly experienced in training and management, refugee status determination and refugee law.
Emma also has a BA in Anthropology from Susex University and in 2012 graduated from a MSc in Global Health and Development at University College London her research focused on the Mental Health of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
Ali has worked closely with Paiwand since 2007 as the charity’s lead Accountant. On a daily basis, Ali works to prepare income and expenditure and budget and cash flow statements, as well as funding and monitoring reports, and is responsible for making presentations to the Board about the state of the organisation’s finances. He also ensures that final accounts are prepared on an accrual basis with 100% accuracy, and that the annual report, including final accounts, are submitted to Charity Commission and Company House before the deadline. He enjoys working with the team of dedicated Project Managers to ensure financial transparency and efficiency.
Ali holds a degree in Commerce and Accounts from the University of Bombay, as well as an MAAT Accounting professional qualification from the UK.
Kate started at Paiwand in 2012 as a drama volunteer and since then she moved around the community Engagement department, managing the Youth and Mentoring projects, and coordinating the 1st Afghan International Film Festival. She is currently Wellbeing and Support Manager, acting as Key Worker for all the residents of Paiwand’s housing project. Her role also includes running targeted workshops covering resilience, integration and wellbeing.
Outside the Paiwand Kate is co-artistic director of Phosphoros Theatre, creating socially engaged work around refugee issues.
She has a BA in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education and is currently studying MA Migration and Diaspora Studies at SOAS.
Mohammad Fazil joined Paiwand in May 2014 as the Housing Project Manager, and works with unaccompanied minors and refugee youths to help their transition into adulthood and develop life skills.
Fazil worked as the Business Support Officer in the British Refugee Council for 3 and half years, and co-founded the Afghan Advocacy Initiative, which brings together Afghans of diverse backgrounds and aspires to contribute to the stabilization, peace-building and development process in Afghanistan through raising awareness and policy advocacy in the United Kingdom.
He holds an MA in Development Economics and international Development from the University of East Anglia, and a BBA majoring in Accounting and Finance from the Institute of Management Sciences in Pakistan.
Raziya Zarrien joined Paiwand in 2009 as a deputy head teacher in one of Paiwand’s schools. She then became Assistant to the Manager at Stag Lane Saturday School when the school established in October 2010.
She has many years’ experience in the UK’s education and also managing Saturday Schools. Since 2009 she acts as an examiner for Dutch and Persian GCSEs in the London boroughs of Harrow and Barnet
Raziya hold BSc in Psychology with Education from Middlesex University and now hold the position of cluster Manager at Stag Lane Saturday School.
Hawa started working at Paiwand from December 2013 as a volunteer with a clinical psychologist and in June I was employed part time as a counsellor under full clinical supervisor.
The type of counselling she does is mainly for depression and anxiety for adults aged 18 and over. Counselling falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environmental. It is a process people seek when they want to change something in their lives or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth.
Qualification- BSc psychology, Postgraduate diploma in clinical application of psychology and currently she is training in postgraduate certificate in CYP IAPT at reading university.
Dr. Ghulam Farooq joined Paiwand in November 2013 as Mental Health Advocate and began working as Paiwand’s Mental Health Advocacy Project Manager in April 2014 to develop the mental health advocacy service, with the aim of improving the mental health of Afghan refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who have experienced trauma.
Dr. Ghulam Farooq has academic background and experience of working in the field of public health in reputable international institutions, including the World Health Organisation. He has acted as a leading expert for the management of health-related projects, both in conflict and post-conflict settings.
Erica joined Paiwand in February 2017 and currently works as the Support and Wellbeing Manager for all the residents of Paiwand’s housing project.
Erica has many years’ experience working with vulnerable populations, specially disadvantaged young people like street children and unaccompanied minors from developing countries. She is passionate about ensuring the less fortunate to have the opportunity they deserve.
She is a Clinical Psychologist from ‘Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú’ and has a MA in Refugee Care from University of Essex and Tavistock Centre.
Nabila joined Paiwand in 2013 as a volunteer at Whitefield Saturday School and in 2014 she became Assistant Project Manager. From October 2015 she started working as an Administrative Officer (HR and Office Management) at Afghan Association Paiwand.
Nabila is a 2015 graduate of Business Management (BA) in Middlesex University.
Yola joined Paiwand in February 2017. She has over 15 years experience in developing, implementing and delivering community based education and training projects in addition to experience of management in the public sector.
Yola also acts as an Lecturer and IQA for a number of educational establishments delivering courses such as Business Administration, Leadership and Management, Youth Work and Practice, Teacher Training.
Yola holds an MA in Policy Studies and a PGCE, in addition to holding qualifications in counselling and coaching, IAG and external verification.
Rose joined Paiwand in July 2017 as the Youth Project Manager where she manages all Youth and Mentoring activities for young refugees, including unaccompanied minors.
Rose has extensive experience in working with vulnerable youth and children in the UK, Zambia, Tanzania and Nigeria. She also has a MSc in Development Administration and Planning from University College London and a BA in Philosophy. She has a passion for community-led and creative solutions to unjust problems.
Rees joined Paiwand in 2017 and has over 15 years of experience in Education especially the post 16 sector. She has delivered training in Numeracy, ICT and CPD for staff development. Her specialism has been in ESOL delivery and training ESOL Teachers.
She has been involved in coaching, mentoring and delivering CPD and staff development previously for Teachers and Trainers.
She has also been involved in leading and managing projects at 6th Form Colleges to support 2nd and 3rd year students achieve and progress onto Universities.
Rees is a qualified practitioner in post 16. She is also a qualified Numeracy, ESOL and ICT Tutor. She has published resources in various sites. She is also in the process of writing materials for improving Literacy within ESOL provision. She is also studying part time MA in Educational Leadership and Management.
“Almira first joined Paiwand in 2016 as a volunteer in the advocacy team and has since become the Senior Community Advocate.
Almira’s focus in education has always been with regards to international law and human rights as she is a strong believer in the power of community and passionate about fundamental equal rights. Outside of Paiwand she is also a proud member of the Springboard Youth Academy team which is an educational summer school programme for unaccompanied asylum seekers.
Almira holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Western Society & Culture from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Following that she graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a Bachelors of Law before pursing a Masters in International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland.”