Manizha Naderi, Executive Director
Manizha Naderi was born in Kabul and raised in New York. She joined WAW in 2002 as a volunteer. She soon became our second staff person, and helped launch our Queens Community Outreach Program in New York. In 2006, she moved to Kabul to launch WAW’s work in Afghanistan. Since 2006, under Ms. Naderi's leadership, WAW has opened 9 Family Guidance Centers, 8 women’s shelters, 4 halfway houses and 4 Children’s Support Centers. Four hundred fifty local Afghan women and men staff these facilities. Ms. Naderi has also built a massive women’s rights awareness-raising training program that has reached over 125,000 Afghans. Ms. Naderi’s goal is to have FGCs and shelters in every province in Afghanistan. Ms. Naderi has a BA in English Language Arts from Hunter College. She has 4 daughters and now divides her time between New York City and Kabul.
• WAW New York Staff:
Naheed Bahram, NY Program Director
Naheed was born to a working-class, conservative family in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her family migrated to Peshawar, Pakistan after the loss of her mother in a bomb explosion in Kabul. Ms. Bahram graduated from high school in Pakistan and taught ESL to Afghan women in the Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar. She moved to the United States in 2004 as an international student. She graduated from Queens College in June 2011 with a BA in Finance and Economics. Ms. Bahram has been working with WAW since 2007, first as a volunteer, then intern, then case worker and now NY Program Manager running WAW New York.
Jessica Wright, Administrative Coordinator
Jessica joined WAW in 2010 through volunteering in the ESL classes in New York. While not an educator by profession, she rapidly fell in love with teaching and tutoring. Now Jessica manages WAW's adult education program, homework help and tutoring for children and works part time in the office as Administrative Coordinator.
Vanessa Dubyn, Development Manager
Vanessa’s commitment to the empowerment of underserved populations, particularly women and children of color, led her to joining the WAW family in 2012. Her previous work includes fundraising and grant writing for an inner-city youth program and a shelter dedicated to immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, both in San Francisco. She also volunteered in Nepal and Kazakhstan (the latter as a Peace Corps volunteer) teaching English, working with orphaned children and youth, and fundraising for the community.
Ivana Kvesic, Development Assistant
Ivana joined the WAW team in 2012 and has experience in journalism, fundraising, and teaching English abroad. She is passionate about human rights, social justice, and empowering women globally. She recently finished her M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University, where she focused her studies on human rights and human security. It was in an International Development course at NYU that Ivana became interested in Afghan women's rights and went on to write her master's thesis on gender inequality and human security in Afghanistan.
Yalda Afif, Case Worker
Yalda became a caseworker in January 2011 after volunteering at WAW. She was born in Kabul in 1990 but left in 1992 for Pakistan,where she spent most of her childhood due to war in her country.
She returned to Kabul as a tenth grader in 2006 and later earned a place at Kabul University to study law. She came to the U.S. in 2010 to compete in a moot court before the International Court of Justice,the judicial arm of the United Nations. Her team won, and she was awarded first place for top oralist. Passionate about women’s rights, Yalda leads the Girls Leadership Program – GLP – on Saturdays at the center for high school girls from the local Afghan community. She is also completing her undergraduate degree at Queens College and plans to go to law school.
• WAW Afghanistan Staff:
Farkhunda Saamy, Afghanistan Country Director
Nahid Aramish, Kabul Province Manager
Azima Kohistani, Kapisa Province Manager
Maryam Amwaj, Badakhshan Province Manager
Hayatullah Talibzada, Nangarhar Province Manager
Rabiya Danishjoo, Faryab Province Manager
Zahira, Saripul Province Manager
Hasina Sarwary, Kunduz Province Manager
Shahbibi Halimi, Project Manager, Children's Support Center
Humaira Ferozi Zadran, Human Rights Training Coordinator
Halim Jan Sulimanzai, Finance Manager