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Advice and Guidance on Education and Training

We provide advice, guidance and counselling in confidence to refugee women. We do this at RWA's offices and on an outreach basis. We provide advice to individual women or group sessions at refugee agencies, colleges and community organisations. We can offer advice on:

  • English Language Courses (ESOL)
  • Rights and Entitlements
  • Professional Re-qualification
  • Access to further and higher education
  • Statutory Financial Support and Charitable Trusts that give educational grants
  • We also assist clients who cannot get their children accepted by schools
In 2001 we became registered with the Community Legal Services and that enabled us to increase our services from the core advice on education, employment and training to all areas of general advice.

How to Contact Us

Our advice service is open Monday to Friday 10am - 4.30pm

Please call us for an appointment: 020 7923 2412

Our Outreach Education Advisers are Ayse Bircan  and Roya  Ebrahimi

Advice and Guidance on Employment

At the moment we are running the following two training programmes for refugee and asylum seeking women:

- The Refugee Women Mentoring Programme: This is tailored for refugee and asylum seeking women who are employed and who wish to become mentors. The objective is for the women to assist and support unemployed refugee women in their search for employment.

- A Job Search Skills training course: This is aimed at unemployed refugee and asylum seeking women who are looking for work. The course aims to prepare beneficiaries for the UK job market. All students are assigned a qualified and trained mentor who will further support them in their search for employment.

The two courses are closely linked to each other and our Employment Adviser works with the tutors to ensure the courses are tailored to refugee women's needs. The Project is funded by Association of London Government and European Social Fund.

For more information on these courses, please contact Jasmina Dimitrejevic on 020 7923 2412, or email jasmina@refugeewomen.org.uk.

What Our Clients Say

FOWSIA from Somalia

A friend of mine first told me about RWA about 6 or 7 years ago. Ayse Bircan, the Education Adviser, was already working here at the time and she advised me to take up a training course in Childcare. This was 1997, and I enjoyed the training so much that I came back for another course when it finished. I liked the courses because I gained hands-on skills, but also because I met many women and made good friends. The women on my courses were very different and from all over the world. I think it is good that different women can come together.
RWA were helpful for me throughout the years because they offered me support and they provided me with the necessary skills to access the help that I needed.
I am originally a nurse by profession. I trained and gained my qualification back in Somalia and I worked there as a nurse before I had to flee the war. Jasmina, the Employment Adviser, tried hard to find work for me as a nurse in a British hospital. She called many places and requested applications forms and helped me to apply. Unfortunately, I have still not found work in my profession, despite having been here for seven years already. But I will not give up. I need more advice on the re-qualification process, because my qualifications are not recognised in this country.
I think that refugee women really need a lot of help and information. They need support to settle successfully in this country. We are tortured people, but when we come here we feel hope for peace and a new life.

HANIM from Turkish Kurdistan

I have known Refugee Women's Association for more than 4 years. I first heard about the organisation through one of my friends who told me that they run courses for refugee women. When I first contacted RWA, I joined a training course in Health and Social Care organised by Jasmina.
When I finished the course the advisers at RWA helped me to find a job in the social sector. It was wonderful: I applied for a job and I was invited to an interview and I attended it. The advisers had prepared me so successfully that it all went very well. I had learned everything I needed to know about how to find a job, and then I did find one! I have now worked in this post for three years. My work involves looking after children with special needs and I enjoy it very much.
I really gained a lot of confidence since I attended the course at RWA and then found a job. My English could still be improved, but I don't have much time to study because I also have two children and so much work to do at home. I hope that in the future I can take up English classes again.
I think RWA is doing a wonderful job. They should provide information about their work to as many people as possible: I know more people who need help and advice, and I am sure RWA would help them if only they knew about them. I think more people need to know about RWA because the organisation can really make a difference to refugee women's lives.

MIRA from Kosovo

The first time I heard about RWA was through my mother in September 2001. She had met Ayse Bircan, the Education Advisor, at Barking College. So, initially it was Ayse who introduced RWA to us and told us about RWA's projects and activities. Since then our contact with the organization has become stronger.
Although I live a bit far away from Hackney, coming to RWA has always been a pleasure because people there are so friendly and keen to help.
This year I did a Job Search Course through RWA. This lasted from April until May and by the end of it I was assigned a mentor. I think it is very effective to pair up refugee women who are out of work with a mentor. I think working and keeping in constant touch with my mentor has significantly improved my chances of finding work. But my mentor is more than that, she is also a close friend. And being in a foreign country this is really what counts most.
Now I work as a sessional interpreter, but I am hoping to find a permanent job in the voluntary sector. I think RWA is really helping the cause of refugee women who are out of work and who want so desperately to put their knowledge and experience to good use.


Click here to learn more about Education entitlements for refugees, people with Exceptional Leave to Remain  (ELR) and asylum seekers

General Information and Advice

FIAC www.fiac.org.uk

Community Legal Service www.justask.org.uk

Quality Mark    www.legalservices.gv.uk

JCWI www.jcwi.org.uk

Information about Refugee Women, Refugees and Asylum seekers

Asylum Aid, Refugee Women's Recourse Project  www.asylumaid.org.uk

UNHCR www.unhcr.ch/html

Refugee Women's Legal Group www.rwlg.org.uk

Women's Trust     www.womenstrust.org.uk

ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles)   www.ecre.org.uk

Refugee Council  www.refugeecouncil.org.uk

News on Refugees

Ananova  www.ananova.com

World Refugee  www.worldrefugee.com


Rights and Advice Centre    www.harloweb.gov.uk

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