Category Archives: Meet our Rafiki Mental Health Champions

Meet Saida

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Hello, I am Saida and I am Somalian .

Back home I studied and worked in accounting.

I have always been a helpful person and focus my time on empowering women in different ways, because I believe a women is the KEY of society and the house.

 A friend told me about the Rafiki Mental Health Project. I decided to join the training to develop my knowledge and help the women in London and in Somalia.

 I want to continue to learn more about Mental Health and support people with mental ill health. I am currently a volunteer within Rafiki Project.




Meet Dawn

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My name is Dawn.  My interest in mental health stems from working closely with people in the criminal justice system with mental illnesses and substance abuse.   I  would describe myself as a people’s person and I enjoy listening to people’s stories, which was my main motivation to train as  a counsellor.   Previously I taught ESOL I noticed even in that role, learners would often tell me their problems and concerns.   I see myself as someone that tries to help and support others wherever possible.

At some point in our lives, any one of us might have (or will) encounter a situation that challenges our mental health, which is why it is so important to speak about it.  Although it is still very much a stigma in society, particularly in African and Caribbean communities. I would like to engage others in conversations about mental health in the hope that it might go some way to bringing the subject out in the open.

Meet Shani


Hi I am Shani, a member of Rafiki Mental Health Community Champions. After recently completing a Disability Advocacy Course I have decided to join the Rafiki project to improve my understanding of mental health and to support and encourage people who have been affected by it.

People who suffer from mental health face stigmas and discrimination within our own communities. Engaging in conversation and challenging peoples negative views about mental health will help to increase people’s knowledge and also break social barriers. With a background of different language skills and community outreach I hope to pass on the Rafiki aims.

Meet Muna


My name is Muna I was born in 1986 back in my homeland Somalia. Since then I lived in many different places but settled in London. When I first came to England I moved to Manchester and currently live in London with my husband and two children. I just got accepted at university of Goldsmiths to study education culture and society.

Life to me means friends and family who you can trust and who trust you. I am pretty much on the happy side of life. In my spare time I like doing activities with my children and have ‘me time’ to myself.  Due to my personal keen interest in children’s activities I volunteered to participate in the Bully Free Zone Training Programme which involved the mediation of children from Year Seven to Year Eleven. I have also successfully completed training in Conflict Resolution and Mediation and am currently a Peer Mediator. After I graduate I want to become primary school teacher.

Mental health is something that can affect any individual and it is kind of a stigma in mainstream society so by getting involved I aim to break these social barriers. This project will allow me to expand my own knowledge on the complexities and differences within mental health.


Meet Yvonne

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Meet Agnes


Meet Naomi


Hey, I am Naomi and I am the Project Manager for the Rafiki Project. I am passionate about hearing peoples stories and challenging stigma in all health areas including Mental Health. Inspired by both professional and personal experiences of Mental Health and of mixed Tanzanian and Jamaican heritage I am  dedicated to improving services and experiences for all.

Within this project we are focused on providing practical skills to champions alongside spaces to share experiences within this project.  Bringing people with and without mental ill health together and championing culturally appropriate services alongside ensuring the voices of African and Caribbean experiences in Mental Health are heard are the main aims of this project.

Get in touch for a chat –


Meet Denis


Meet Nayo


Nayo is a young mental health enthusiast. In recent years she has worked in marketing, supporting organisations large and small. Her specialism is copy-editing however Nayo has a variety of interests. Since studying Psychology at A-Level she has become intrigued by patterns of human behaviour and aspires to work more closely with people with support needs around mental well-being.  She is particularly interested in helping people to build confidence and grow awareness of their own abilities which she believes aids mental well-being.

Through the Rafiki programme Nayo hopes to develop as much knowledge and insight as possible to push forward the mission of eradicating stigma around mental health.

Meet Shade


I would like to inspire , encourage and comfort women who suffer from various mental health issues as well as those who don’t.  I would like to assure them (through my own experiences) that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I would be privileged to guide them to it.