Zarlasht Halaimzai

28 August 2020

Ten years on, I still use the skills I learned on the UpRising programme.

Zarlasht arrived in the UK from Afghanistan at age 15 and was granted asylum. She applied to the first ever UpRising programme a few years later. “I started my journey in civic engagement and leadership with UpRising. The programme gave me an opportunity to meet community leaders and politicians who were all making a difference”. Zarlasht went on to co-found The Refugee Trauma Initiative in 2016, an organisation providing psychological first aid to refugees stranded at camps and community centres in Greece. In 2018, Zarlasht was one of 20 out of a pool of 20,000 to be awarded the inaugural Obama Fellowship for exemplary civic leadership.