Meet the Team

Jean-Didier Mualaba
Chief Executive Officer

Jean-Didier has worked for the Community and Voluntary Sector in the UK for 15 years. He previously worked at Leicester North West Community Forum, where he supported new communities of asylum seekers and refugees settle in some of the most deprived neighborhoods in Leicester.

Jean-Didier has a degree in Economics from the Catholic University of Bukavu in the Democrat Republic of Congo and a BA (Hons) degree in Community Development and Youth Studies from Derby University. He is currently studying Public Health (Master in Public Health) at the University of Sheffield.

John Aghoghogbe
Employability Manager

John has over twenty years experience of providing careers information, advice and guidance to all types of people, from those with no formal qualifications to post-graduate students.

He is skilled at communication, needs assessment, planning with clients, negotiation and promotion. He is a specialist in working with BME communities to realise education and employment aspirations.

He is a qualified careers advisor, due to a post-graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance from Nottingham Trent University.

John is a volunteer community worker, and a member of the Urhobo Progress Union. He also has experience of running his own business enterprise.

Rosie Fisher
Learning Manager

Rosie originally trained as a Pediatric Nurse, before retraining as an ESOL teacher following a period of volunteering with Belong.

Rosie is skilled in language needs assessment, lesson planning, developing teaching material and adaptability. 

She achieved her BNurs (Hons) from the University of Birmingham in 1999, and her CELTA and PTLLS from New College Nottingham in 2011.

 Rosie is also involved with the local Church and is currently trying to learn Arabic.

Simon Ferrigno
Heritage Project Officer Co-ordinator

Simon has spent much of the past 20 years working on questions of sustainability in farming and trade, especially cotton and textiles. Much of this has been in Africa, South America, and Asia. Simon has written extensively on sustainability, including two books, numerous reports, and a regular magazine column.

Simon is skilled in writing, organising workshops, public speaking and research. He received his MSc in Education for Sustainability from Southbank University, London.

Simon is also a part time Co-op Member Pioneer, helping support local causes in Derby. He is also Chair of European Movement Derbyshire. Previously, Simon has worked in community development and music in London after several years as a professional chef and part-time radio DJ in France. Simon’s working life began as a farm labourer, including on organic farms in the early 1980s.

Verna Prince
Youth and Community Development Worker

Verna is a trained accountant. She completed her training in both the Caribbean and the UK. She worked in finance industry. Following the birth of her son she changed direction, and volunteered with Sure Start where she gained childcare qualifications. She is passionate about supporting families and young people. She started working with Belong in 2019 and has developed her role as the Youth and Community Development Worker. Verna volunteers at her local church, she loves trying different food and is setting up a chess club in Radford.

Madiya Fikula
Senior Support Group | Senior Support Coordinator

Madiya works for Senior Support Group, which is an independent organisation, supported and mentored by Belong Nottingham.

Madiya trained as a nurse in her home country. When she arrived in the UK she used that experience to work as a carer. She has been involved with Belong since 2010 and has worked on various projects including raising awareness of refugee issues in local communities and working on the computer skills training. She did her NVQ Level 3 in Information Advice and Guidance whilst working at Belong. In 2014 Madiya set up the Senior Support Group for migrants over the age of 55 years. She has been working in partnership with Belong since that time. Madiya is passionate about autism and the services provided for autistic children in DRC.
Jon Rigby
ESOL teacher
Jon is a CELTA-qualified English teacher with over 8 years of experience teaching in group sessions, one to one and online, from absolute beginner level (A0) to advanced (C2) learners. He completed a degree in Modern Foreign Languages (French, Spanish) at The University of Birmingham, and has since continued to cultivate that interest in languages by engaging in Arabic language evening classes at The University of Nottingham. 
Donna Borrill
Office Manager

Donna joined Belong Nottingham in June 2021 after working for many years organising a research conference on behalf of the University of Nottingham. Covid 19 enforced a change in job direction which resulted in her joining the team and she is delighted with the move!

She likes nothing better than organising and making office systems run like clockwork and loves helping people to reach their full potential – making Belong Nottingham a perfect place to work!

Outside of work, Donna is a passionate Nottingham Forest supporter and an active member of Trent Vineyard Church.

Valentyna Kanciova
Office Administrator

Valentyna joined Belong Nottingham in November 2021 and is our office angel!

She has obtained qualifications in Child Care, Catering, Health and Social Care and has experience working a nursery. She speaks Czech, Slovakian, Polish and of course English.

She is passionate about helping others and, having come live in the UK recently herself, she is very understanding of the needs and challenges faced by people of other nationalities integrating into UK society. This makes her perfect for our team at Belong!

In her free time, she likes to meet up with friends and socialise, especially if this involves food!

Neikwai Aghoghogbe
IT Trainer and Employability Support Worker

Neikwai started working for Belong as a volunteer for 2 months in September 2020. Due to his impressive work, he was subsequently offered a permanent contract in November 2020 as an IT Trainer and Employability Support Worker.

His prior experience includes working in different industries including: hospitality, customer service, security and at the headquarters of a religious organization. 

Outside of Belong, Neikwai is thoroughly involved in a theocratic educational program by helping people understand the Bible and conducting/giving free Bible studies. 

Neikwai is also a keen traveller and travel has always played a big part of his life. 

Before working at Belong, Neikwai travelled around the continent of Africa for 8 months. In addition, during Neikwai's adolescence, he had the privilege of visiting many different countries across the world and experienced many different cultures. 

Noah Maasarani
ESOL Teacher

Noah joined Belong in 2020 for a short period, but enjoyed his time with us so much that he came back in 2021. He has a wealth of qualifications, including a BA in Art History and English Literature and a PhD in Critical Theory. Noah is CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualified and an experienced ESL (English as Second Language) and ESP (English for Specific Purposes)  teacher.

He supported Syrian refugees between 2016 and 2018, with a programme tailored to their needs, to ease their transition and to facilitate integration into UK society, whilst teaching them English.

Outside of work, Noah has a passion for repairing and restoring fountain pens and runs his own business, ensuring that vintage pens are brought back to life.

Afeen Kaky
Admin Assistant

Afeen Joined Belong Nottingham in June 2022 as a part-time Admin Assistant after previously volunteering with Belong for three months. Amongst her other jobs, she worked for many years in the Non-profit Organisation (NGO) Mercy Corps and the telecommunications company Earthling Corporation. She obtained a degree in Laser and Optic Electronics Sciences at The University of Technology, Baghdad graduating in 2009. She has obtained many other qualifications over the past seven years, including in HR, a (BLC) B1 certificate from Birmingham college, attended an IELTS course and has certificates for Time Management and Communication Skills. When she arrived in the UK she used that experience to secure her current job with Belong. she speaks Arabic, Kurdish, and of course English. She often helps refugees who use Belong’s services, working as a translator, making them feel at home. She has excellent customer service skills and is a friendly, hardworking person who is reliable and motivated who enjoys learning new skills.  In her free time, she continues to take courses online and wants to learn as much as she can!

Neil Raymond
Employability Advisor

Neil's biography is to follow.

Anna Chang
Family Support Worker

Anna's biography is to follow.