Afghanistan and Central Asian Association

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Afghanistan and Central Asian Association
ACAA Blue 300dpi CMYK.jpg
Formation2001; 18 years ago (2001)
FounderNooralhaq Nasimi
HeadquartersLewisham, Hounslow

Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA) is a charitable incorporated organisation that supports London's refugee community and the Afghan diaspora in the United Kingdom.[1] The organisation also campaigns for human rights, democracy and the fair treatment of refugees in Afghanistan and around the world.[2] The charity has a dual mission of supporting the successful integration of refugees into Britain through grassroots service provision and of advocating for the promotion of human rights and fair treatment of refugees globally. The ACAA runs a variety of services, such as ESOL classes and a legal aid clinic, to help refugees integrate[3] as well as hosting regular cultural events[4] and international conferences to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.[5][6][7] In 2018 the ACAA was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.[8]



The organisation was founded in 2001 by Nooralhaq Nasimi who arrived in the UK in 1999 in a refrigerated container with his wife and three young children, as a political refugee fleeing persecution at the hands of the Taliban.[9] With the aid of local MPs and community organisations, Nasimi established the ACAA in 2001 in order to help other refugees, based on lessons he learnt from his own experiences attempting to integrate into the UK.[10] The organisation was initially a community group that brought together Afghan refugees, but evolved to become a service provider that attempts to bridge gaps that exist for refugees who are attempting to build new lives in a new country.[11]

The Organisation Today[edit]

Today the charity runs ESOL classes, offers free legal clinics, runs a supplementary Saturday school for refugee children, offers a women's corner for female refugees and organises regular cultural and social events.[12][13] In 2017 the charity expanded significantly when it opened a second office in Hounslow, London. The charity now runs services across three London boroughs as well as in Afghanistan itself.

In June 2018 it worked with Lewisham Borough Council to assist recent refugee arrivals to access public services. [14]

Work In Afghanistan[edit]

Citizens Advice Centres in Kabul and Pul-e-Khumri[edit]

The ACAA launched Afghanistan's first two citizens advice centres in Kabul and Pul-e-Khumri in 2013 to provide free, impartial, and confidential legal advice to the local community.[15] The centre in Kabul focuses on employment counselling and women's legal advice, whilst the centre in Pul-e-Khumri focuses on providing lessons in computer technology, English and with numerous other life skills.[16]


  1. ^ "Charity Details". beta. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  2. ^ "Team London - Afghanistan and Central Asian Association". volunteerteam. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  3. ^ "Afghanistan & Central Asian Association (ACAA) - advice and support in Hounslow and Lewisham – CarePlace". Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  4. ^ "Summer festival celebrates the best of Afghanistan's culture - The Khaama Press News Agency". The Khaama Press News Agency. 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  5. ^ "Conference on the Situation for Afghan Refugees in Sweden". SASNET – Swedish South Asian Studies Network. 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  6. ^ "The Role of Women in Extremism – Fempower Workshop at ACAA – Quilliam". www. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  7. ^ "Conference on Afghanistan future on 25th". www. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  8. ^ "Lewisham refugee charity receives Queen's Award for Voluntary Service | Eastlondonlines". Eastlondonlines. 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  9. ^ Swinnerton, Lois (2017-11-23). "Hounslow refugee charity founder fled Taliban in fridge lorry". getwestlondon. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  10. ^ Swinnerton, Lois (2017-12-03). "This woman fled from Taliban and is now studying at Cambridge". getwestlondon. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  11. ^ Nasimi, Rabia (2017-11-01). "I fled the Taliban in a refrigerated lorry - now I'm a PhD Cambridge student helping other refugees". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  12. ^ "Refugee Week: Three journeys towards a better life | Eastlondonlines". Eastlondonlines. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  13. ^ Magazine, Brown Girl (2017-12-06). "This is How Rabia Nasimi Escaped the Taliban Regime to Pursue her Studies at Cambridge University". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  14. ^ Fairhurst, Katrina (22 June 2018). "Lewisham Council to take in over 100 refugee families | Eastlondonlines". Eastlondonlines. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  15. ^ "We will always appreciate the support of the British people". www. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  16. ^ "Afghanistan's first Citizen's Advice Centres: A path to foreign aid success?". South Asia @ LSE. 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2018-06-10.