About Afghan Association Paiwand Ltd

Run by and for the refugee community, Afghan Association Paiwand Ltd is a charity and community organisation in North West London. For the last 20 years, we have helped refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants to build a happy life in the UK. Showing solidarity with both children and adults, we truly understand the unique and complex set of needs of this community. Get in touch today with any further enquiries.


Charity Number: 1139972                             Companies House Number: 6632483

Our Story

In 2002, a group of six friends who had fled conflict in Afghanistan persuaded a local school in Edgware to let them use their school on a Saturday. They set up a place for local refugee parents and children to learn more about their new home.

While the other founding members moved on with their lives, one person consistently worked hard to develop and expand Paiwand. Farid Mall stayed with us for 16 years, dedicating all this time to changing one small classroom into an organisation that serves over 2,000 people coming from all over the world across North West London.

At the end of 2017, we said goodbye to our beloved leader, Farid. The whole community wishes him the best in his joyful future venture. Here at Paiwand, we will continue in our mission to help and support refugees and vulnerable asylum seekers to settle and thrive in a different environment.

Our Team


Fahima Zaheen

Chief Executive Officer

Fahima gained higher qualifications in Media and Sociology from Southbank University, and in Politics and Social Sciences from Birkbeck University in 2014. Fahima has been involved in the charity and community sector since 2006, advocating for refugees and asylum seekers for in different capacities. In addition to her freelance work, she has had posts with the Embassy of the Republic of Afghanistan in London, Danish Refugee Council and Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Afghan Association Paiwand, supporting refugees and asylum seekers with similar experiences to her own back in the 90s onwards.

Project Managers

Dr Farooq

Mental Health Advocacy Project Manager

A medical professional with many years of experience working with local and international NGOs/organizations in the field of public health. He contributed to the development of different policies and strategies and managed multiple health and health-related projects. Since 2014, Dr Farooq has been Paiwand's Mental Health Advocacy Project Manager and contributed to the quality expansion of the program in order to improve the wellbeing of most vulnerable migrant communities with quality mental health advocacy and counselling services.

Ramzia Akbari

Mental Health Counsellor MBACP

Ramzia is trained in Therapeutic counselling with the Islamic counselling model and works as a senior counsellor at Paiwand providing faith and culturally sensitive one-to-one counselling sessions, as well as seasonal group work. She has experience working with common issues such as anxiety, stress, relationship issues, depression, PTSD, grief, bereavement, postnatal depression, low self-esteem (etc.) and conducts these sessions in Dari/Farsi and English. Ramzia is a member of the BACP and adheres to its Ethical Framework.

Malik Niazi

Housing Project Manager

Malik has been providing safe and structured accommodation for young refugees at Paiwand for the past 2 years. He has a BSc in Political Science and a MA in International Relations. By sharing the same socio-cultural background with the young people, Malik has helped to establish a strong rapport and climate of trust. Malik speaks Farsi, Dari, Pashto, and Urdu.

Raziya Zarrien

Education Project Manager

Raziya Zarrien joined Paiwand in 2008 as a volunteer Deputy Head Manager at London Academy Saturday school, with experience working in education across all year groups from primary to secondary. Raziya holds a BA in Psychology and Education and has done her post-graduate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. At present Raziya is managing the Education Services at Paiwand which have been hugely successful and enjoyable for students.

Mr Tokhi

Immigration Legal Advisor


Vidya Mulane

Administrator and Receptionist at Saturday School & Advocate 

Vidya achieved a joint honours degree in Commerce & Computer Science; she is a multifaceted office professional with an extensive background in Accounting & IT.  Here at Paiwand, Vidya is hardworking and versatile Administrative Officer with proven organizational skills and thorough knowledge of corporate policies and procedures, excellent communication and people skills. 

Hena Timori

Volunteer Coordinator

Hena is a 3rd year Business Administration student at the university of Hertfordshire. She joined Paiwand as a Project Assistant to the Advocacy team in 2022. Currently, Hena works as a volunteer coordinator, encouraging young students to be part of our team and play a more vital role in our newly arrived Afghans' lives.  Feel free to email her with any questions on volunteering with us: volunteer@paiwand.com.


Fazel Rabi

Senior Community Advocate

Fazel is currently studying biomedical science as an undergraduate at Middlesex University in Hendon. He has always thought about supporting people in his community. He first joined Paiwand as a volunteer in 2021 and has been actively supporting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers  since.





Zara Tehal

Volunteer Researcher and Journalist

Zara found Paiwand through her university’s volunteering programs, and decided to go for the Researcher and Journalist role as she endeavours to be a part of the media industry one day. Zara researches stories for Paiwand's blog and hopes to continue to do volunteering work as it is she finds it extremely rewarding.

Victoria Ahmadi

Administrator and Receptionist at Saturday School & Advocate 

Victoria holds a BA International Management degree at Middlesex university and joined Paiwand in 2017. She works in Stag Lane Saturday School as an administrator/receptionist and also works as an advocate with the Afghan Resettlement. 


Our Values

With a dedicated team of expert staff and volunteers, we support the refugee community across North West London. Our key values are:

Page 2 - Our Team

  • Fazel Rabi – Senior Community Advocate

Our Services

Paiwand provides a variety of services for adults and children in the community, including a Saturday school where classes range from Pashto and Dari to maths and English. We also provide support for teenagers who are living in the UK alone and adults who have a range of issues, including:

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  • Helping Young Refugees to Gain Work Experience

  • Providing Space to Host Workshops

  • Employee Volunteering

  • Fundraising Events and Donations

A Trusted Refugee Association

Our refugee association has the expertise and experience to support children and adults in the UK.

Speak with Our Team