For most people, the challenges associated with starting a business can overwhelm our desire to take action and we can hold back, never making the leap for fear of what might happen. 

But Zarlasht Halaimzai is not like most people. 

Having experienced first hand the challenges of being a refugee, after her family was displaced from their home in Kabul at eleven years old, Zarlasht is no stranger to fear or uncertainty. 

This difficult start led to a deep desire to do something that would make a real difference to those who really needed it. 

Having worked for a number of aid organizations including Save The Children, Zarlasht co-founded the Refugee Trauma Initiative in 2016, an organization that helps refugees dealing with the emotional fallout of violence and displacement. All this, after returning from the Syrian border where she had advised INGOs on education and child wellbeing. 

Since starting the Refugee Trauma Initiative, Zarlasht has been selected from over 20,000 people as a fellow for the inaugural Obama Foundation, a recognition of the life-changing work the organization is doing. 



As a leader one of the biggest challenges has been persuading other people of the value of what we do and why we do what we do… You come across people who just don’t get it

Finding the profile of people that we recruit… there is a very small pool of people with the skills required.     

Resources Mentioned 

Headspace App

Links and Contact 


Twitter @RefugeeTraumaUK

 Facebook  @RefugeeTrauma

Instagram  refugeetrauma

Zarlasht and her team are always looking for new colleagues to come on board who have the necessary skills needed to provide support. If you or anyone you know has the following skills and would be interested in getting involved, then please get in touch.