Our Staff

Our Staff

Maria

MARIA CONSTANZA MESA

Operational Director

Originally from Colombia. She arrived in Wales as a refugee. Overseeing the strategic direction of WCF, a social worker by profession with over 30 years of Community Development and management experience in various settings, specialising in gender and race issues.

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MENAKA KODUR

Office Communications & Project Manager

Originally from India. Holds a Degree in Engineering and PG in IT & Management. She joined the charity in 2003 the longest standing member of WCF staff, with extensive experience in office, HR & IT management and also gained a wealth of experience in fundraising & grant making processes, project planning, management, monitoring & evaluation. Project Manager for Healthy Body Healthy Mind Project and leads on communications & social media

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Menaka
Mei

MEI  LEE

Finance Officer & Project Co-ordinator

Mei is of Chinese heritage, has worked at WCF since 2010. Overseeing all financial and statutory duties. Taking an active part in preparing budgets for grant applications.

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AMAL BEYROUTY

Project Manager

Originally from Lebanon. A Business Management graduate. Project Manager for Golden Years – Let’s Age Well, Wales World Café, Together We Can and Advice & Advocacy projects , she is a qualified advisor and counsellor, she provides 1:2:1 advice services sensitive to the cultural needs of our beneficiaries.

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Amal
Cheryl Pinheiro

CHERYL PINHEIRO

Project Co-ordinator for ReAD hate crime project

Originally from India, joined WCF this year as project coordinator of our hate crime project. She is a commerce graduate and is very passionate about working and supporting with the BAME community.

SHAHIEN TAJ

Community Engagement officer on the ReAD Hate-crime Project

Shahien Taj OBE is of Pakistani heritage, born and raised in Wales. Shahien has experience of working in the private, public and charity sector. She has a background in community development and action research projects, Race Equality & Social Justice with a specialist knowledge around the socio-cultural pressures and conflicts faced by victims of domestic violence, forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ related abuse and violence. Shahien has been with Women Connect First since April this year and works part-time as a Community Engagement officer with the ReAD –Hate Crime Project

Shahien

KASIA NAPIERALA

Project Co-ordinator for World Café on wheels

Kasia if from Polish Background and is the project Co-ordinator for World Café on wheels. This project is funded by the Welsh government and is to provide free healthy and nutritious meals daily to the most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 in the BAME community. She joined Women Connect First in October 2020. She has a strong background in Landscape Architecture, Hospitality & Research analysis. She was also a PA at Welsh Refugee council for 2 years.

RAHIMA BEGUM

Project worker for Together We Can Project

Rahima is a BA (hons) marketing management, CIM graduate who has always had an interest in society. Rahima is a project worker for our new mind project called “Together We Can” which aims to alleviate loneliness and social isolation to improve mental wellbeing during these unprecedented times. Rahima is very passionate about the empowerment of black and ethnic minority women and inspired to make a change. During university, she created many campaigns aimed at BAME women from diverse ethnic background.

Rahima

ALEXANDREA CABRERA

Admin & Finance Assistant

Is from a Filipino Background and a Psychology Graduate. Whilst in university she volunteered in various activities from Half marathons to community involvement, she is very passionate in helping others and believes in reducing discrimination & gender inequalities. She Joined WCF in October 2020 as a admin & finance assistant and aids in administrative duties and plays an active role in helping wherever she can. Although she’s is a recent she brings with her a lot of experience with vulnerable people and BAME community.

FARAH

Administrator & Outreach officer for Golden Years project

Farah is originally from Egypt. She Graduated with a first class honours in Accounting and Finance, and passionate about helping others. Joined WCF in 2018 as a volunteer, then joined the team in April 2020 as an admin and outreach officer for the Golden Years-Let’s Age Well project.  The Golden Years-Let’s Age well project involves BAME women aged 50+ in fun interactive sessions where they can learn, connect & get involved with their health & wellbeing.

Farah
Aisha

AISHA

Administrator & Outreach Officer for Healthy Body Healthy mind

A graduate from Cardiff Met University, Aisha is currently working as an Admin and Outreach Officer on the Health Body Health Mind Project. 

MAHANAZ ALI

Advice & Advocacy Officer, Golden Years Project

Mahnaz is originally from India, a Dentist by profession. She volunteered with WCF since 2019 in the Golden Years Advice & Advocacy service and started working as a part-time Advisor from July 2020 during the Covid Pandemic when the demand on the service has grown.

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We Can Work It Out

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SARRA IBRAHIM

We can work it out Project worker

Miss Ibrahim started WCF since November 2019 to participate the implementation phase of We Can Work It Out project (WCWIO), she has experience in NGOs and has a background in development management, she also worked in Africa for national development and is passionate in promoting woman rights & community development with BAME. WCWIO aims to work with the community to better understand the challenges in working families in Cardiff, and help them face them head on.

Early years and young people services

ANDREA

Afterschool club co-ordinator

Andrea is a qualified Youth and Community Worker, qualified teacher and artist. he has been with Women Connect as After School Club Co-ordinator for 2 years and before that worked with the organisation on a number of freelance arts project. She is passionate about helping to make sure the voices of young people and women of colour are heard and a great believer in the arts as a tool for community development.

Andrea
Jacqueline

JAQUELINE JAMES

Childcare Co-ordinator

Born in the Caribbean on the Island of Nevis, Jackie has worked with children and young people for many years and has overseen the childcare in WCF since 2019. She is a qualified caterer and adult tutor teaching Playwork and other childcare related subjects.

Sessional Workers

KENSE

Creche Sessional worker

Kense is a sessional worker at the Creche, she is also a certified Teacher assistant (with speciality in special needs in), Certified child care worker, and is an active advocate for helping the community for 20+ years, in this she counsels young girls in community, she is also an interpreter and provides help and guidance to those who need help. She has done a lot for Women connect first as well as the local Riverside community.

Kensie
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ISMAT

Creche Sessional worker

Ismat is a sessional worker who started working with Women Connect First since 2009 as a child care worker. She organises activities/ implements a curriculum that allows children to learn about the world and explore their interests, as well as developing schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime. Ismat also helps with golden years’ project, helping ladies in the community encouraging them to develop their own skills.

NURI BEGUM

Sessional worker

Nuri has been with women Connect First for 15 years, she has volunteered and attended many training courses, projects with WCF and was a sessional working at the Crèche, as she is passionate about children and their wellbeing. She also has other interests such as cooking delicious dishes and reading books, walking, She’s also passionate about helping the BAME community and giving them support. Previously she involved was volunteered as a teaching assistant at the Cardiff Muslim Primary school.

Nuri

Group Photos

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