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. They wanted to use it as a place where local refugee parents and children could learn about their new home.

While other moved on with their lives, one person consistently worked hard to develop and expand Paiwand. This person was Farid Mall, who stayed with Paiwand for 16 years. He dedicated all these years of his life to change one small classroom into an organisation that serves over 2,000 people across North West London from all over the world.

We help these people, our friends, by providing services such as a community Saturday School for children, where they are given tuition in maths and English housing. The Afghan children also benefit from Pashto and Dari classes on Saturdays. Paiwand also provides support for teenagers who are living in the UK alone.

We support children and adults with their housing, benefit, mental health, employment and immigration issues. We also provide free English classes so they can find good jobs and live an easier life in the UK.

At the end of 2018, we said goodbye to our beloved director, Farid Mall. He has the best wishes of the whole community to have a joyful future venture.

We at Paiwand will thrive to serve our clients and continue with the mission to help and support refugees and vulnerable asylum seekers in an increasingly difficult environment.

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

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.


Theo Fox, Youth Project Manager

Theo is Paiwand’s Youth Project Manager, overseeing all Youth activities for young refugees, including unaccompanied minors. Theo previously worked as a volunteer at Paiwand and is passionate about community-led and creative solutions to unjust problems.


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.


Ramzia Akbari, Counsellor


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.

Anjali Saran, Mentor Worker


Emily Underwood, Youth Advocate