Women for Refugee Women Staff Natasha Walter

Natasha Walter
Director

Natasha is the author of The New Feminism and Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism. She has been a columnist, feature writer and reviewer for The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer and a regular contributor to arts and political programmes on television and radio.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Marchu Girma

Marchu Girma
Deputy Director (currently on sabbatical)

Marchu Girma is a campaigner advocating for the rights of refugee and asylum-seeking women. She works as the Deputy Director for Women for Refugee Women and is passionate about empowering refugee and asylum-seeking women to speak up about their experiences, and enabling them to use their voices for change. As part of her role at Women for Refugee Women, Marchu has co-authored research reports, delivered training, and helps to maintain refugee women’s networks around the country. In 2017, Marchu was invited by UN Women to speak at their annual Commission on the Status of Women conference at the UN headquarters in New York.

Venus Abduallah
Office Manager

From a young age Venus was inspired by her family’s activism in Sudan and has been involved in working to contribute to the social and democratic change in Sudan. She worked and volunteered with human rights and development charities in Sudan, Netherlands and UK. Venus’ activism focuses on advocating for women’s rights, child rights and social change through education and participatory research.

Venus is passionate about working with young refugees and asylum seekers specially around identity and mental health. Venus is also currently studying for an MA on Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at University of London where she will be working on examining identity (re)formation and acculturation strategies among Sudan-born migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Anja Beinroth

Anja Beinroth
Finance Executive

Anja has extensive experience of working with refugee community organisations in London, including in previous roles at the Scarman Trust and the East London Community Foundation. She is a qualified community organiser and experienced finance manager. She is honorary treasurer of Living Under One Sun Ltd and a non-executive director of Hackney Co-operative Developments CIC.

Viki Zaphiriou-Zarifi
Grassroots Coordinator

Viki is a researcher and activist working on migration and gender issues. She holds a PhD in Development Studies from SOAS. Prior to her doctoral study on migrant and refugee women in Greece, Viki worked as a gender consultant at the UN and with NGOs in Malawi, Pakistan and Greece. Most recently she authored a chapter for a collection on Black feminism in Europe (To Exist Is To Resist) and is currently writing a book based on her ethnographic research with African asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant women in ‘crisis’ Greece.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Samantha Hudson

Samantha Hudson
Communications and Fundraising Manager

Sam has a background in communications for small charities, including Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, bringing experience in communicating with a range of audiences and supporting vulnerable people to speak out. She holds a Masters in The Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice from SOAS.

Priscilla Dudhia
Policy and Research Coordinator (Destitution)

Priscilla previously worked in a policy role for St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Cairo, advocating for the rights of vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers from across Africa and the Middle East. Prior to this, she worked as Senior Legal Officer for the organisation, representing asylum-seekers in UNHCR refugee status determination and protection processes. It was her experience at St. Andrew’s that encouraged Priscilla to return to the UK to contribute to the rights of women asylum-seekers here.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Gemma Lousley

Gemma Lousley
Policy and Research Coordinator (Detention)

Gemma previously worked in policy roles for the Detention Advice Service and the Criminal Justice Alliance. She is currently studying part-time for a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, researching the sentencing of non-British citizens convicted of criminal offences.

Carenza Arnold
Fundraising and Development Officer

Carenza has worked with people seeking asylum and refugees since university where she was President of the Student Action for Refugees society, and part of the Refugee Action team welcoming refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme across Liverpool and Merseyside. She has worked in human rights and international development charities and holds an MA in International Relations and Security from the University of Liverpool.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Rebecca Hayes Laughton

Rebecca Hayes Laughton
Drama and Performance Facilitator (freelance)

Rebecca leads the drama programme at Women for Refugee Women, supporting the women in our network as they learn and build creative and performance skills. Weekly sessions work towards regular performances, and are also a place to relax, build confidence, express ourselves and prepare for campaigning events.

After a twenty year career in TV management at the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, Rebecca is now a Visiting Lecturer and PhD Researcher at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London), and is a freelancer also working on various other performance projects with newly arrived people in the UK.

Women for Refugee Women Staff Sarah Cope

Sarah Cope
Campaigns and Research Officer (freelance)

Sarah has been involved with many environmental and social justice campaigns. As well as working on campaigns and research at Women for Refugee Women, she also runs our ‘Rainbow Sisters’ group for lesbian, bisexual and trans women, and non-binary people seeking asylum..

Trustees

Rachel Krys
Chair

Rachel is an equality and human rights campaigner. Rachel was co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition for three years, and has worked with charities, the public and private sectors to challenge inequality and promote human rights. Rachel was chair of governors for a federation of primary schools in south London. She is currently working with the Bar Council on equality and diversity projects.

Jane Christopherson
Treasurer

Jane is currently the Director of Operations for the ‘BeDifferent Federation’ which is made up of Lonesome, Singlegate and William Morris Primary Schools.  In this role she is responsible for the budget and finances across the Federation as well as all other non-curriculum activities.  For the last two years she has also been the Finance Manager and Development Co-ordinator for the East Merton Learning Together Trust.  Prior to working in the education sector, Jane was the Chair of the Finance Committee on the board of Governors for Singlegate and William Morris Primary Schools.

Jade Amoli Jackson

Jade was born in Northern Uganda. She studied journalism at Makerere University, and then went to work as a sports reporter on Uganda Television/Radio and local papers. Jade left Uganda after experiencing torture and persecution, and sought asylum in the UK in 2001. She has been supported by the Medical Foundation – now Freedom from Torture – since arriving in the UK and is a member of their Write to Life group. Jade is also Secretary for the London Refugee Women’s Forum and a volunteer at the Refugee Council since July 2004.

Francesca Klug

Francesca has been a human rights advocate and academic for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of Freedom from Torture and the British Institute of Human Rights and trustee at Refugee Migrant Justice.  Francesca is a Visiting Professor at LSE Human Rights and Sheffield Hallam University and was previously a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a special advisor to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. She has campaigned and written widely on equality, migration and human rights.  All her grandparents were refugee-migrants to the UK.

Sabeela Malik

Sabeela is an immigration lawyer with extensive experience of representing vulnerable clients. She practices Public and Administrative Law and is qualified under the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker and Supervisor which allows her to specialise in Immigration
& Nationality law and provide specialist legal help for publicly funded work under her firm’s Legal Aid franchise.

Sabeela has a keen interest in representing vulnerable clients, particularly victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Maria Margaronis

Maria Margaronis is a journalist and regular BBC broadcaster who’s been covering refugees’ stories for the last fifteen years. She has written about refugee lives and asylum policy for the Guardian and the US-based Nation (where she’s the London correspondent) and presented several BBC radio documentaries about refugees in Europe (most recently “Greece’s Haven Hotel” on BBC Radio 4).

Her work has also appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the Independent, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. She is also a fiction writer and translator of poetry, and was a volunteer mentor for many years with Write to Life, the creative writing group at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (now Freedom from Torture). She has been a trustee of Women for Refugee Women since the charity was set up.

Loraine Masiya Mponela

Loraine is a community organiser at Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG), a grassroots organisation that is run by and for people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants living in Coventry and the surrounding area. Loraine is passionate about tackling historical and ongoing injustices and amplifying the voices of marginalised people. During her free time, Loraine mentors local people who are seeking asylum and international students who can’t afford fees and are seeking scholarships.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel is a Programmes Principal at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. She leads the Commission’s work on justice and personal security, including work to ensure that equality and human rights standards are upheld in the immigration system. Before joining the Commission, Rachel worked for the NGOs Liberty and Refugee and Migrant Justice. Rachel is a lawyer by background and began her career as a barrister specialising in immigration and asylum law.

Muma Sinka

Muma is a banking and finance professional with a passion for the arts, technology and social impact. Recognised as one of the 100 Tech Up women. She most enjoys using her skills to encourage women to continue taking up space. A member of the institute of coding, she hopes to use her skills and influence by merging social impact and emerging technology to make an even wider impact in the lives of others. She is a board member on two charities promoting the use of technology and business skills for disadvantaged women. She is also collaborating with charities and social enterprises to create a platform that will bring global resources locally. She also curate’s art events for contemporary African artists with a focus on raising the profile of the African artist worldwide. You can connect with her page on Facebook SYTYCI – So you think you can’t inspire.

Rachael Takens-Milne

Rachael has been a Trustee of Women for Refugee Women since 2012.
Rachael is Head of Programme Support at The Legal Education Foundation, an independent grant-maker focused on promoting law as a tool for improving people’s lives. She previously spent more than a decade at Trust for London, leading grants programmes on safeguarding children, improving protections for trafficked people and supporting the development of strategic litigation; as well as managing a website on London’s poverty and inequality data. Other employers include among others, Lloyds TSB Foundation, the Citizenship Foundation and the Charity Commission. Rachael has a MSc in Social Policy & Planning from LSE.

Chris Taylor

Chris has over 40 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector in senior management roles, primarily concerned with funding. She has worked for charities with international and/or UK programmes, including Save the Children, Comic Relief, London Youth and the National Childbirth Trust.

Chris has been a trustee of a number of charities. During her 6 years on the Board of Womankind Worldwide she was Vice-Chair and chaired the Marketing and Communications Committee.