A Minibus to Help Afghan Refugees living in Hotels

by Afghanistan & Central Asian Association in Feltham, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 9th September 2022 we successfully raised £200 ( + est. £42.50 Gift Aid ) with 6 supporters in 28 days

We're trying to raise a minimum of £10,000 to fund a minibus that will transport 50-60 isolated Afghan refugees to our centre each week.

Project by Afghanistan & Central Asian Association

"I arrived in the UK after being separated from my husband and children at Kabul airport... I honestly believed my life was not worth living for many months after I arrived.  I found the [ACAA] centre and I found some hope and happiness. They are helping contact my husband and children. I come every day - I have found friends and interests that keep me going." 

Our Story

The ACAA was founded by our director, Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi, after he came to the UK as a refugee from Afghanistan in 1999, fleeing Taliban persecution. He, his wife, and their young children arrived in the UK in the back of a refrigerated container lorry, and had to start a new life knowing no English.

As a result of their experience dealing with the isolation and hardship of integrating into a new society, Dr Nasimi set up the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association to help other refugees integrate more easily. The charity is particularly useful for Afghan refugees as there is always a Farsi-speaking presence at the centre, but our services are open to everyone and are attended by diverse nationalities.

'I’ve been coming here for 2 years. We try to talk about what we are suffering and find solutions and know we are not alone in our problems. I suffered from domestic violence. My husband totally broke my confidence and now I am building my self-esteem with these women. Because the people here are from my community, I feel comfortable and I can get the experience I need. I am happier and I have a lot of hope for the future.' - Zanan (women's) project participant from Afghanistan

Our Vision

 We want to end the causes of isolation and loneliness for refugees and help them feel fulfilled. 

"When I faced a problem, I used to be scared and find no solution. Now I come here. When I moved to London, I felt scared and alone but now I don’t. I feel a confidence here. I can speak without feeling scared. It’s like coming home."

A year ago, when the Taliban returned to power, our centre became a focal point for Afghans to come and find out how they could help their relatives stuck in Afghanistan. Since then we have been welcoming many of the people who arrived in Operation Pitting in August-September 2021. We want to expand our reach so we can help as many people as possible. 

See a clip of what it was like at the centre during the crisis a year ago:

The Problem of Hotel Accommodation

  • Transport: Afghans stuck in temporary hotel accommodation are struggling to get to support services because they cannot afford transport or are living in isolated areas with poor public transport connections.
  • Unsuitable and cramped living spaces: small hotel rooms make life harder for people who cannot study, work or relax peacefully, and cannot cook their own meals.
  • Difficulty finding employment: employers see people living at temporary addresses as a liability, so the chance of securing employment is far smaller
  • Isolation and lack of community: people have not had the chance to integrate and receive support from a community.

The Impact of the Minibus

  • An 18-seater minibus
  • It will transport at least 50-60 people per week to our centre 
  • These people wouldn't otherwise be able to access vital integration services
  • Our centre can take on at least 100 more beneficiaries across our services per week and we are applying for funding to help even more people

Take a look at the services we provide below to see how people using the minibus will benefit:

Our Services

ESOL for Integration

These classes combine English teaching with education on British culture, customs, and institutions, enabling people to navigate British life. 

Zanan Project  

Zanan is Farsi for woman and this project is based on women’s empowerment and combatting isolation, particularly for vulnerable women. It involves weekly workshops on practical issues such as employment skills and parenting. 

There is also a weekly discussion group where women can discuss issues they are experiencing and practice their English.

Men’s Workshops 

We recently started a men’s group where men can gain practical skills, make friends and practice their English in a friendly, supportive environment.

Supplementary School 

This provides extra support to school age children with their education, particularly for children who are learning English. There are also Farsi classes for children of Afghan refugees and migrants to improve or maintain their mother tongue and connect with their heritage.

Legal advice clinic

We provide free legal and practical advice to anyone that needs it.

Abresham FC

Abresham Football Club aims to address the lack of girls' involvement in sport in the Afghan and Muslim community due to cultural values. By creating a culturally-sensitive and supportive environment that encourages physical exercise and involvement in sport, we are fostering diversity in girls' football.


Photo above: the club's Christmas awards ceremony

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.