Our Trustees are from a variety of backgrounds and professions all with the same passion to help educate women.
Khadija Yawari is managing activities at Gawarshad Institute of Higher Education. She is HR Manager and lecturer at GIHE. She has previously worked at AIHRC and as a gender officer for the Shuhada Organisation. She has undertaken courses in gender studies, peace building and human and women’s rights. She speaks Dari, Pashtu and English.
Frishta Matin has two bachelor degrees from Gawharshad University and the American University of Afghanistan. Her first Bachelor is at Law and the second Bachelor is at Political Science and Public Administration. She also did her minor in gender studies. She is passionate about gender studies and women’s rights with a keen interest in education. She has also been involved in various leadership and exchange programs, including the SUSI women’s leadership programme. In addition to her professional background, she has been involved in social activism since 2011. She is Gender Manager of Gawharshad University and Project Manager of Linda Norgrove Foundation which is based in Scotland.
Friends of Farkhunda Trust, UK
Our Friends are unique in the tireless effort they put in to help wherever and whenever they can.
Polly Davies has a BA from Oxford University in Turkish with Islamic Art and Archaeology. She is a former maritime solicitor and speaks Turkish and Farsi.
Sophia Mahfooz is a British-Afghan entrepreneur who graduated from UCL. Upon graduation she won the undergraduate category for the ‘London Entrepreneurs Challenge’, which led her to working for a Venture Capital firm and starting her own business in Silicon Valley. Her current focus is to create a platform called Afghan Innovation, which seeks to document the stories of Afghans, and non-Afghans whose lives have been profoundly touched, by Afghanistan and the Afghan people.
The vision for Afghan Innovation is to unite the diaspora community and promote frugal entrepreneurship in order to create a strong community both in Afghanistan and abroad – and ultimately to empower Afghans to create their own solutions to tackle the socioeconomic problems in their country.
Friends of Farkhunda Trust, Afghanistan
Our Friends in Afghanistan ensure that the education provided is of the highest standard.
LEADERSHIP MANAGEMENT COACH
Tania Aria is an economics expert with experience in women’s issues, aid coordination, capacity building, program management, research, trade facilitation, and human resource management. She has worked for key government offices such as the President’s Administration Office and the Ministry of Finance as well with donor organizations such as the World Bank and USAID. She has also worked as an independent research consultant specifically focusing women’s employment. She is currently supervising a number of Gender Reform projects in the Administration Office covering anti-harassment, capacity development for women and the foundation of a Gender Steering Committee. She is a board member of the Economic Committee of Manshur/the Women’s Charter of Afghanistan through which she advises on and lobbies for economic empowerment policies for women and assesses government and other donor programs for women’s empowerment. She has represented Afghanistan at a number of national and international conferences on these subjects.
ACADEMIC STUDIES COACH
Mariam Safi is one of the few female researchers and experts from Afghanistan who has contributed widely to the field of post-conflict peace building, rule of law and human security, and countering violent extremism (CVE) offering a grassroots and gender perspective.
Her unique outlook and advocacy efforts have enriched the gender discourse on women’s participation in post-conflict peace processes. Her recent efforts, under the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (DROPS), to launch the first issue of the organization’s ‘Women and Public Policy Journal’ in Afghanistan was revered as the first journal of its kind to be published in the country offering a unique platform to increase and empower women’s voices in policy research and discourse. Furthermore, her collaboration with the Peace Education and Development Foundation in forming the first ever, Afghanistan-Pakistan Women’s Forum, was widely acclaimed for providing a platform for women in both countries to combine their efforts to raise awareness on women’s concerns and formulate policy recommendations aimed at carving a substantial role for women in the Peace Processes that ensue in both countries.
Mariam’s recent studies on issues such the Reconciliation and Reintegration of the Taliban, Women’s Role in the Peace Process, Women’s Role in CVE, Transitional Justice in Afghanistan, and Afghan perspectives on Human Security have been valued by organizations like the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, NATO, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, Global Center on Cooperative Security, and the Consortium of South Asian Think-Tanks.
Furthermore, her ground breaking research under the ageist of Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, on the ‘Formal and Informal Justice Relations in Afghanistan: a six province, 18 district, and 36 villages assessment’ and a ‘Four Provincial Assessment of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program’ in Kandahar, Badghis, Baghlan and Pakita’ were considered the first of their kind and provided the academic and policy community with much needed baseline data that is largely missing in the context of Afghanistan. She is also a regular columnist for the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies’ (IPCS) Dateline Kabul and Insight on Conflict’s Afghanistan portal, for which she is also the local correspondent. She also participates in various working groups and conferences worldwide.
Mariam was recently honoured by the Diplomatic Courier as one of their Top Global Women in 2014 for her contribution to the nascent academic and research community in Afghanistan and for her policy oriented research that has been the focus of policymakers in Afghan government, civil society and the international community.
Mariam was the Deputy Director of the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (2010-2012) based in Kabul, and was the co-founder of the Afghanistan Justice Organization’s Strategic Studies Program (2013-2014) and is the founding director of Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies (2013-present). She has an MA in International Peace Studies from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace.