Who We Are

Our Mission

To show solidarity and support for all refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants to help them build a happy life in the UK

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 as a place that local refugee parents and children could learn about their new home and their old home, together.

Today, our community has grown to over 2,000 people across North West London who have come from all over the world. We help these people, our friends, by providing services including community Saturday Schools for children; housing, enrichment and careers support for teenagers who are living in the UK alone. We also provide free English classes for adults, mental health support and help people to navigate the immigration process and access basic services.

Our Values

  • Friendship – We stand in solidarity and in friendship alongside all refugees and migrants.


  • Belief – No matter how ordinary or extraordinary a person’s dreams are, Paiwand has unwavering belief in their ability to realize them.


  • Courage – We are inspired by the courage we see every day in the people we help.


  • Peace – We wholeheartedly and peacefully respect everyone, regardless of nationality, spiritual belief or politics.

Our Team

Our dedicated team of expert staff and volunteers support the refugee community across Northwest London

Farid Mall, Director

Farid moved to the United Kingdom in 1998, and founded Afghan Association Paiwand in 2002 alongside six friends. Farid has been at the helm of the charity as it has grown to offer to a wide-range of services.


Zuheir Suleman (Ali), Accounts Manager

Ali has worked closely with Paiwand since 2007 as our lead Accountant. He enjoys working with the team of dedicated Project Managers to ensure financial transparency and efficiency.


Nabila Saeed, Office Manager

Nabila joined Paiwand in 2013 as a volunteer and now oversees Paiwand’s office management and administration. Nabila is a graduate of Business Management (BA) from Middlesex University.


Emily Beckwith, Education Service Manager

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.


Raziya Zarrien, Cluster Manager – Stag Lane School

Raziya joined Paiwand in 2009 as a deputy head teacher in one of Paiwand’s schools. She now oversees our Saturday School service at Stag Lane School in Edgware.


Yola Burgo, Cluster Manager – Edgware Primary School

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.


Ellin Joseph, Cluster Manager – Norbury Primary School

Ellin joined Paiwand in 2017 as the Cluster Manager for Norbury Primary Saturday School in Harrow.Before this, she worked for Local Authorities for nearly 23 years and her previous employment was with the London Borough of Enfield, as Service Manager for the Education Welfare Service, Children Missing Education and Trading Manager for Academies and Free Schools.


Patricia Ollivierre, Cluster Manager – Child’s Hill Primary School

Patricia joined Paiwand in 2017 and is the Cluster Manager for Child’s Hill Primary School in Crickelwood.


Kate Duffy, Youth Zone Manager

Kate joined Paiwand in 2012 as a drama volunteer, eventually becoming Youth Service manager in 2017. She oversees all of our services supporting young unaccompanied minors, and leads the employability project.



Rose Ziaei, Youth Project Manager

Rose is Paiwand’s Youth Project Manager, overseeing 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 and is passionate about community-led and creative solutions to unjust problems.


Almira Hussain, Advocacy Project Manager

Almira is Paiwand’s Senior Advocacy Project Manager. She’s responsible for delivering our information and advice service and overseeing a team of brilliant community advocate volunteers.


Dr. Ghulam Farooq, Mental Health Project Manager

Dr. Ghulam Farooq joined Paiwand in 2013 as Mental Health Advocate and began working as Paiwand’s Mental Health Advocacy Project Manager in April 2014. He has developed and delivers the mental health service, with the aim of improving the mental health of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who have experienced trauma.


Hawa Osman, Counsellor

Hawa is Paiwand’s  resident counsellor and qualified  clinical supervisor. She supports our community with issues including depression and anxiety through ‘talking therapies.


Mariam Baraky, Community Advocate

Mariam joined the Paiwand team in 2017 as a volunteer. She now works as a community adocate, advising people on issues such as housing, debt and welfare.