Najeeba Wazefadost

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

Anila Noor is a refugee-activist, TEDx  Speaker and Researcher based in the Netherlands (a Pakistani, a Daughter of a Kashmiri Refugee from Indian Occupied Kashmir).  Member of various Advisory board as ENS, Asylos.  A former fellow of Open Society Foundation, a former member of European Migrant Advisory Board, EMAB. Also a member of Kaldor Centre of Emerging Scholars Network Australia.

Anila Noor also initiated  New Women Connectors, a movement striving for mainstreaming the unheard voices of migrant and refugee  living across Europe. New Women Connectors is a perspective-shift to the refugee agenda and advocates inclusion rather than integration as a policy choice.

Being a founder and Refugee Advocate, Anila is trying to highlight the issue of refugee representation gap in the European Member States, at the EU  and global level. She inspires to work to improve refugee diplomatic skills and capacities. And to contribute towards making the international and European refugee and protection system more effective, sustainable and just and therefore ensure that European policy delivers tangible improvements to the lives of refugees, migrants and stateless persons across Europe. She is creating network to show the Resilience to take charge of building local communities and filling gaps in services and assistance.


Shaza Alrihawi

Shaza Alrihawi is a Human rights activist, Syrian refugee based in Germany. Co-founder, Steering committee member and Chairwoman of Global refugee led Network GRN Shaza Also a board member of the New Women Connectors . Co-founder of Global Independent Refugee Women Leaders (GIRWL).

Member of the Gender Audit team for UNHCR. Co-founder of Network for refugee voices NRV. And former member of European Migrant Advisory Board EMAB, an initiative of the Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees the Urban Agenda for the EU.

Shaza was deeply involved in human rights issues and have first-hand experience dealing with refugees and women’s crisis as she previously was working on SGBV cases in UNHCR Syria.

Prior to that, she worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Centre for Strategic Studies in Syria.


She hold a Bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate degree in sociology and a Master in psychosocial work. In addition to political science from Maxwell school-Syracuse University. Currently Shaza Alrihawi is working as a research assistance in Lifbi Institute on a ReGES project (Refugees in the German Educational System) LIFBI.


Mahfud Mohamed Lamin

MENA Representative

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.


John Bolingo Ntahira

GRN-Africa Representative

John Bolingo Ntahira joined GRN Steering Committee in June 2018 as African Region  Representative bringing a range of experience to  contribute to the work of Global Refugee Led Network.


Bolingo  is the Founder and Executive Director of HOPE OF  CHILDREN AND WOMEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE (HOCW)


John Bolingo is a Refugee from Republic Democratic of Congo residing in Uganda since 2000, He holds a bachelor in Development Studies and pursuing masters in International Relations and Diplomacy from Cavendish University.

In 2016 Bolingo with other Refugee Leaders launched Refugee Led Organisations Network which Currently John Bolingo is an active Chairperson of the Network.

John Bolingo is also a Founder and Senior Pastor of Jesus is the Source of Hope International Ministries. John Bolingo is very active in defending and advocate for children and women.


Robert Hakiza

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.


Sedrick Murhula

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 ( when was 18 years old, later he founded Your Platform Consulting ( 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


Amer Alkayed

Irish Palestinian Lawyer, Advocate, Vice president and co-founder of Ravdanur Foundation , Co-Founder, Steering committee member of Global Refugee Led Network.


Consultant and legal advisor, stabilization, human rights, peace building, security and justice, gender discrimination and violence specialist.