We are supporting refugees through this Afghanistan crisis.

Helping Afghans and Central Asians prosper in the UK.

We work with Afghans and Central Asians living away from their homeland, providing them with support, skills and knowledge to live and prosper in the UK.

Our wide range of services includes English language classes, employment workshops, a women’s support group, a Saturday school and homework club, youth and family support services, drop-in and telephone advice, volunteer placements, and cultural and social events. We provide outreach and visits to individuals and families in detention.

We also work in Afghanistan, where we are developing citizens advice centres in Kabul and Pul-e-Khumri, following a successful pilot project from 2013–2016. They will offer free, impartial and confidential advice, information, support and legal aid on issues including education, employment and domestic violence.

A message from the director

Our vision at the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association is fair treatment for all refugees who enter the UK. We seek improved quality of life for refugees, including successful integration into their host countries, improved human rights in the Afghan diaspora and in Afghanistan itself. All of ACAA’s projects, from citizens advice centres in Afghanistan to homework clubs and Saturday schools in the UK, seek to achieve this.

This commitment stems from my own journey: I arrived in the UK in 1999 as a refugee, unable to speak a word of English. While studying English at Lewisham College, the challenges I faced as a refugee trying to integrate into British society motivated me to action. I founded ACAA in 2001 to focus on the needs that I felt were unfulfilled when I first arrived as a refugee.

Equipped with a law degree from Southbank University, I was determined to make a meaningful contribution to improving the quality of life for refugees in the UK and for the people of Afghanistan. Ever since, our organisation has worked to advance this mission in areas whether in education and employment, or social cohesion.

Though we have achieved a lot, there is still much to do. With the support of people across the UK and in Afghanistan and Central Asia, I am confident that we can continue to go from strength to strength and make a real difference to the lives of the people we help.

Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi

The Team

Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi

Director

Contact

Dr. Nasimi migrated to the UK in 1999 in the back of a refrigerated container. He founded ACAA in 2001 and has been at the heart of the charity as it has grown to offer a wide range of services.

Alice Blestoe

Girls Football Project Co-ordinator

Contact

Alice graduated from Manchester University in 2019 with a History degree. Alice is the Girls Football Project Coordinator. The project is designed to empower young Afghan and Muslim girls by using sport as a tool to develop not only their physical wellbeing, but also their mental wellbeing by increasing social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Alice is currently running training sessions twice a week and the club has grown so much since it was launched!

Jess Mcgrath

Integration Manager

Contact

Jess completed the international bachelor of psychology at Leiden University, with a minor in Global Migration from the University of Amsterdam in 2021. Jess is the Integration Manager working to ensure that the Afghanistan community feels welcomed and integrated into British society. Currently Jess is coordinating the ESOL classes at our office in Feltham.

Sheekeba Nasimi

Legal and Development
Co-ordinator

Contact

Sheekeba is the Legal and Development Coordinator. She coordinates legal advice services at the ACAA and works with colleagues, volunteers and external partners to ensure the legal advice clinic runs effectively. She runs monthly pro bono advice sessions with local law firms to provide advice and support on housing, employment, litigations and immigration cases. Sheekeba is also currently a law student at The University of Law.

Ava Pevsner

Communications Officer

Contact

Ava graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2021 with an Architecture degree. Ava assists in strategically positioning ACAA as a partner of choice local councils and other organisations, to place ACAA as a centre of expertise for Afghan culture. Ava also coordinates and organises social media content to spread the message of ACAA and raise awareness about key issues and events.

Qadria Saeedi

Girls Football Project
Outreach Officer

Qadria is the Outreach Officer for the Girls Football Project. Her main role is to reach out to Afghan girls in the local community so they can benefit from participating in the Football Club. A large part of her role is explaining to parents the benefits of sport, especially for girls.

Justine Seligson

Volunteer Co-ordinator

Contact

Justine received her MSc in International Migration and Public Policy at LSE in 2021 and her BA in International Relations from Carleton College in 2019. Before working at ACAA she supported Syrian and Iraqi students in applying to university. At ACAA she manages the recruitment, induction and supervising of volunteers. With volunteers playing a critical role in ACAA’s functioning and overall success, she works to increase the number of volunteers and ensure they thoroughly cover the organisation’s needs.

Sanaa Krishan

Finance Officer

Contact

Sanaa is the Finance Officer.

Awards

British Citizen Award 2020

Awarded to Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi in recognition of his exceptionally positive impact on society and inspiration to others

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018

Awarded in recognition of the excellent work and central role volunteers play in the delivery of the essential services run by the ACAA

London Prestige Awards

Refugee Support Service of the Year 2019 for London

London Asian Business Awards

Community Award 2019

Youth Employment UK

Talent Match Mark Youth Friendly Gold Award

Mayor of Lewisham

Mayor’s Award for Voluntary Contribution
The Afghan Embassy in the UK recognised ACAA’s contributions in 2021, praising Dr. Nasimi for his dedication and the charity for its hard work advocating for the rights of Afghans and other refugees.

Supporters and Donors

Many thanks to all of our supporters and donors.