Meet the team who run our day to day operations.
Fazil Kawani, Director
Before joining RAK in September 17, Fazil was a member of the senior management team at the British Refugee Council where as a Director of Integration he was responsible for delivering refugee integration services and projects across England. Fazil has worked very closely with many charities and statutory bodies, including refugee agencies, legal practitioners, faith groups, NGOs, local authorities, refugee community organisations, funders, human rights organisations, and government departments. Additionally he has over 20 years experience of contributing to the boards, committees and advisory groups of voluntary organisations to support refugees and asylum seekers.
Fazil has personal experience of arriving here as a refugee in 1980; he has a degree in Civil Engineering from East London University.
Amy Lenderyou, Volunteer co-ordinator
Amy joined RAK in April 2019. Amy is responsible for recruiting and training volunteers as well as setting up a mentoring project. Amy has worked in the charity sector for 20 years and has lots of experience of delivering contracts, managing training & learning programes and working with volunteers. Amy has recently worked on projects with Oxfam and Kidscape after ten lovely years working in senior leadership roles at the Princes Trust.
Johara Borbey, Immigration adviser
Johara joined RAK in September 2018 and runs the Immigration Advice Project. She is a qualified IAAS Senior Caseworker and Level 3 OISC Advisor. Prior to joining RAK, she worked as an immigration consultant at a City law firm and then as a caseworker in the Public Law and Immigration department of one of the biggest Legal Aid providers in the UK. Johara started her career in immigration law working as a volunteer caseworker at BiD Bail for Immigration Detainees. She is currently studying the Legal Practice Course to qualify as a solicitor.
Marwa Belghazi, VPRS co-ordinator
Marwa coordinates the support provided to families resettled in Kingston through the Syrian Vulnerable Resettlement Persons Scheme. With a background in political science and urban planning, she has been involved in projects of capacity building across Morocco, Venezuela, Brazil and France. Fluent in French, Spanish and Arabic, she has a large experience of working in a multi-lingual setting to accompany people who have been displaced in the societies where they have found sanctuary.
Dominique Revell, Advice worker
Dominique joined RAK in April 2000 as an administrator. She soon developed an interest in advice work and has been working as an RAK caseworker for the last 10 years. Dominique is a regulated OISC advisor at Immigration Level 1 and gives advice on immigration, benefits, housing, utilities and more. Dominique is fluent in French and English.
Rana Abdulkareem, Advice worker
Rana, started volunteering with RAK in November 2016 as an Arabic interpreter, working primarily with the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. In September 2017 she joined the staff team as an advice worker. Rana also works as an Arabic teacher in a college in London. Rana is fluent in Arabic and English.
Prity Subba, Advice worker
Prity joined the RAK advice team in April 2018. She is a regulated OISC Level 1 adviser. Prity has a particular interest in immigration law and is working towards her OISC Level 2 accreditation. Prity has over five years of experience in the not-for-profit sector working with migrant communities in London.
Yvette Duncan, Information advice and guidance officer
Yvette joined RAK in September 2013 as an advice, guidance and information officer. Yvette has an NVQ Level 3, specialising in work with refugees, asylum seekers and other new arrivals to the UK and many years of experience in advising this group of clients into employment, training and volunteering opportunities. She has predominantly worked in the not for profit sector including: 5 years for the Refugee Council as a New Start tutor, the Creekside Development Project, Target3 and London Probation Trust.
Jenny Arokiasamy, Learning centre manager
Having worked in Adult Education for 20 years, teaching and managing the ESOL and Basic Skills programme, Jenny's role at RAK is to oversee the development of activities at the RAK learning centre and after school club. In her previous roles she worked as information, advice and guidance manager supporting young families in Merton.
Heike Gesierich-Betts, ESOL co-ordinator
Having volunteered for RAK as an ESOL tutor (English for Speakers of Other Languages) for 5 years, Heike joined the organisation as co-ordinator for our ESOL programme in 2012. Prior to joining RAK, Heike volunteered for other organisations that support migrants’ integration. Heike holds an MA in English language teaching and is fluent in English, German and Spanish.
Min Payne, Afterschool Project co-ordinator
Min joined us in 2019, having taught in London for 36 years as a secondary school teacher and then as Special Education Needs Coordinator.
Caroline Bassett, Creche manager
Caroline has a Level 3 qualification in childcare and has been manager of our creche since its founding in February 2005. She is passionate about providing our youngest clients with a safe, happy and loving place where they can play, make new friends and learn English.
Valerie Jermy, Office manager
Val joined in September 2017 and is responsible for the RAK database, office management and communications, including social media and this website. She has a wide knowledge of the local charity sector from her experience working, for 4 years, in a similar role for Kingson based integration and education charity Learn English at Home. Previously, Val worked in marketing in the commercial sector, developing direct and digital marketing campaigns for a range of well known brands.