At 10 years old, Najeeba Wazefadost fled Afghanistan with her parents. She sought asylum from Australia by sea in September 2000. She spent several months in mandatory immigration detention before being recognized as a refugee. Arriving with no knowledge of English, by the age of 14, Najeeba had mastered it well-enough to win a national essay-writing competition, and start the advocacy journey . She has graduated from a Bachelor of Medical Science .
Najeeba has been actively involved in the development of refugee-led networks at both the regional and global level, which focuses on bringing together refugee-led organizations and refugee change-makers from around the world to gather to discuss their lived experiences and propose solutions for more effective and sustainable refugee policy.
Najeeba sits on the Steering Committee for the Global Refugee-led network and the co founder for the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees which was established as a result of the planning and development of the Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees (APSOR) held in Bangkok this October 2018. Najeeba is the Chair of the Refugee Leadership and Participation Working Group as part of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN). She is the founder of an Afghan women business network in Asia Pacific, supporting women to establish their own businesses.
Since her advocacy journey Najeeba has been awarded for her work on number of times " Human rights medal award, Local Citizen Award, Young Women of the west award and etc. “Leaving your country is one of the most important decisions a human being can be forced to make.” Najeeba
Anila Noor holds a master’s degree in development studies (2014) from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MSc in gender and women studies (2010) from Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad, and M.A in Punjabi from Punjab University (2000) Pakistan. She is a refugee researcher and Expert consultant based in the Netherlands examining social justice perspectives on gender and conflict as well as forced migration and refugee policies.
As a fellow of FFVT program 2021-2022 and fellow for the Open Society Foundations (2018 ̶ 2019) she is advancing meaningful participation and Unpacking lived experiences of Refugees as Knowledge. As a representative of different global and regional Refugee Led initiatives (RLO/RLI) as New Women connectors, GRN, and GIRWL, she has collaborated on reports and served on panels such as Oxford Refugee Studies centre, GAIN.
To date, she is performing Advisory Roles to European Commission, and UNHCR, and giving guest lectures to Amsterdam University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Carleton University – Canada, and others. She is a member of the Emerging Scholars Network at the University of New South Wales’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law and is an active contributor to the network’s gender studies subgroup.
Co-Founder of the Global refugee led network GRN and Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL)
Shaza Alrihawi is a human rights activist, advocate, facilitator, researcher, and the co-founder of the network Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL). In addition, she is the co-founder of Network for Refugee Voices (NRV), steering committee member at the Global Refugee-led Network. She is also a board member of the New Women Connectors. Moreover, she is a former member of the European Migrant Advisory Board, an initiative of the Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees the Urban Agenda for the EU. Shaza has first-hand experience in dealing with refugees, as she previously worked on sexual and gender-based violence cases for UNHCR in Syria. Prior to that, she worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Centre for Strategic Studies in Syria.
Mahfud Mohamed Lamin
Mahfud is originally from Western Sahara, actually living in the Saharawi refugee camps, in the city of Tindouf, south west Algeria where he was born and grew up together with thousands of saharawi refugees due to the conflict in their homeland.
Mahfud is a human rights activist and political advocate, part of different saharawi local organizations mainly holding responsibilities of international advocacy about the Western Sahara question. Now, he is a Project Manager and Western Sahara representative of the spanish NGO NOVACT based in the saharawi refugee camps and managing projects of supporting sahrawi human rights activists and civil society organizations in their nonviolent initiatives.
For more than 3 years, Mahfud used to work in the humanitarian sector with the Danish Refugee Council, Algeria office in a livelihoods project supporting saharawi youth in the camps to have employment and better life conditions.
Mahfud joined GRN steering committee in 2018 and he is now the MENA representative for the GRN.
Mahfud holds a Master degree in African civilization, and now PhD researcher at the Algerian university of Tlemcen.
Mary Magdalene Tal
Mary is the founder and the Executive Director of Whole World Women Association. The organization aims to create safe and nurturing spaces for refugee and migrant women and their families, promoting and facilitating their safe integration into local communities in South Africa
Prior to starting Whole World Women Association, Mary worked for the Human Right Media Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. Her role involved creating the refugee and migrant project while researching, writing, and publishing challenges faced by refugees in South Africa through various media platforms including radio, television, books journal and articles.
Mary is also an external observer in the Gender studies honors class at the University of Cape Town’s African Gender Institute. She has a degree in LLB Law from University of Yaounde, Cameroon and a postgraduate LLM from University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Mary was born in Cameroon and is currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.
GRN Africa Representative
Robert is a refugee from Congo living in Uganda since 2008. He holds a degree in Agriculture from the Catholic University of Bukavu (DRC), and he's the co-founder and executive director of the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID). He is also one of the founders of the Refugee-Led Organization Network.
He has experience working with urban refugees and also works to educate others about obstacles refugees face. In 2013, Hakiza worked as an assistant researcher with Oxford's Humanitarian Innovation Project. He is a TED Fellow and an Aspen New Voices Fellow 2017. Robert is a Steering Committee member of the Global Refugee-Led Network representing Africa.
GRN- North America Representative
Sedrick Murhula joined GRN Steering Committee in November 2019 as North American Region Representative bringing a range of experiences of contribute to the work of the Global Refugee-led Network.
Sedrick Murhula is a public speaker- strategic thinker-visionary-serial entrepreneur- nonprofit professional & Global Refugee/Immigrants Advocate.
Sedrick has 13 years of experience in grassroots organization (both locally and internationally), project management, Career coaching, training, youth development and mentorship, immigration and refugees’ issues; as well as economic development. He co-founded YARID-Uganda (www.yarid.org) when was 18 years old, later he founded Your Platform Consulting (www.itsyourplatform.org) which support grassroots organizations through social enterprises.
As Public/keynote Speaker, he often speaks at different events, conferences, universities and organizations with topic related to global issues on refugees and immigrants, Congo conflicts, youth motivation as well as his own interesting life experience. His latest and on his best speaking event was at the African Union High Level Meeting in Uganda, Dec 2019.
As a Blogger/Vlogger I write and make short videos on refugee/Immigrants issues, personal life experience, Congo Crisis and grassroots impacts. You can learn more about Sedrick here www.sauti-voice.com
Nibras is Assyrian refugee from Iraq, who has been working with women refugees. She has been mentoring and supporting these women to adjust into life in Australia and assisting with career development, establishing businesses and helping them build economic independence. Nibras has completed Graduate Certificate of Migration Law and Practice 2018 at ANU.
Nibras is the Steering Committee for Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR).
APNOR is the only region-wide refugee-led network, of refugee-led initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. APNOR works with and for refugees focusing on providing numerous services such as educational and emergency support.
Additionally Nibras is also the Chairperson for Australian National On Refugee Women (ANCORW). ANCORW is a lobbying, advocacy and research group which works with and for refugee women and their families, in order to bring about change in the refugee system and to enhance their ability to rebuild their lives. ANCORW regards refugee issues as human rights issues.
Nibras has been working with refugees for over 10 years, and due to her experience as a refugee, she is passionate, motivated and understands the issues and barriers that refuges face including displacement. She considers herself an human rights and refugee activist and advocate. She understand the emotional and mental toll experienced as a refugee, and is passionate about filling in the gap she experienced as a refugee.
Seconde Nyanzobe is a dedicated, resourceful and goal-driven professional. She has a diploma in teaching French as a second language, social psychology and Canadian Immigration and Protection Laws.
Resettlement worker at KEYS Job Centre.inc, Seconde Nyanzobe primary purpose is to provide information, support, guidance and accompaniment to refugees in their new communities in a supportive, solution-focused manner and understand way of the challenges facing refugees.
Women /Human Rights defender, she is a co-founder of ISOKO partners for Peace and Gender Equality, member of Canadian Council for refugees and Member of Refugees Advisory Group –RAG at UNHCR for Good governance organization. She is very involved in adoption of PANs in the great region of Africa , localization, advocacy and awareness-raising of the indicators on Women/Youth, Peace and Security 1325 and 2250 UNRSC.
Amer is Irish Palestinian lawyer, advocate, consultant and legal advisor, human rights activist, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Global Refugee Led Network.
Amer is currently based in the United Kingdom, spend most of his life in the Middle East where he initiated several refugees led organisations to serve and advocate on behalf on refugees in host countries.
Amer has been involved in networking for refugee led organisations around the globe with a vision that refugees become involved in decision making mechanism at all levels.
Amer has been elected as the new chairperson for the Global Refugee Led network as from September 2022 for a two year term.
Ana María Diez
Lawyer. Master in Public Management, specialist in migration and human rights, and Diploma in social inclusion from the School of Government of the Organization of American States.
Former criminal lawyer in Venezuela, Regional Humanitarian Protection Officer for HelpAge International. She is Fellow at Refugees International and a member of the UNHCR Global Advisory Board of Organizations led by Displaced and Stateless People. Ana María has been distinguished as one of the most influential young leaders with the "Responsible Business Leaders Award - Social Category 2022" by Ernst & Young Venezuela, and also awarded as IESA Alumni 2022 award on responsible leadership chair and the Analytical Woman 2022 recognition of the Monteavila University.
Ana María is currently president of the Coalition for Venezuela, the largest network of organizations led by Venezuelan migrants and refugees.