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  • Ranbandara Dissanayaka- Executive Director
  • Shamime Mansoori- Associate Director
  • Dr. Wafaa Salama- Development officer
  • Afaf Azzahari- Development Officer
  • Uma Prithviraj- Development officer
  • Marites Hamilton- Admin Officer

Staff Profiles

D.N.M.R.Dissanayaka - Executive Director

(Dip. Math, BA Hon, MA & MBA)

Much of Dissa’s life has been spent around educational institutions studying and working. Following a Diploma in Mathematics, Dissa taught Mathematics in Government Secondary Schools in Sri Lanka for eight years. Later, after graduating with a BA (Hons) from the University of Sri Lanka, he taught English in Government secondary schools for a further four years before becoming a Lecturer of English at a University College in Sri Lanka.

Having moved to Scotland, he studied for an MA at Moray House Institute of Education. He was then appointed to the post of the Student Union Manager of Moray House Institute of Education. He worked there for seven years before entering the voluntary sector. During this period he attained an MBA from Napier University.

Dissa has been involved in the management activities of many organisations, gaining a wealth of experience in both people - oriented work and management.

These have included:

  • Skillnet Edinburgh
  • Minority Ethnic Learning Disabilities Initiative
  • James Gillespie's High School
  • Men and Health Development Group Scotland
  • The Lothian Interpreting and Translating Trust
  • Edinburgh Compact and Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC)


Dr. Wafaa Salama - Outreach Development Officer

Wafaa has a PhD in Education from Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, Durham University, UK in June 2017. She has an extensive experience in the field of care and education both in Egypt and UK. She had worked before as a teacher and care and education specialist. She ran a private childcare service for 10 years in UK. Her research interests are in the areas of disadvantaged women, childcare, communities and social services.  She is focusing at the moment on empowering ethnic minority women, funding and policy initiatives which together support equality, opportunity and justice across communities. Her recent research projects include welfare policies, befriending, and social distancing. Wafaa is also working with MEHIS-NHS Lothian to offer support to ethnic minorities.

At LINKnet, she is responsible for the following:

  • To organise and run awareness raising workshops about oral health for ethnic minorities.
  • To design and evaluate oral health promotion materials.
  • To identify complementary support services and negotiate with them on behalf of the service users.
  • To do outreach work to consult and network with public, private and voluntary sector organisations and individuals and engage in other promotional activities to recruit volunteers for the Edinburgh Smile Oral Health Project funded by the Scottish Government.

Uma Prithviraj - Out-Reach Development Officer

A Post Graduate from Bangalore, India has travelled extensively and lived across 3 Countries before moving to Edinburgh. In India she was the head of Scholastic India in Bangalore. Following her husband to China she taught Kindergarten at The International School of Beijing for 5 years. She speaks Mandarin and understands cultural diversity. In 2010 she moved to Saigon, Vietnam and taught at both the German International School and The Saigon South American School for 6 years. She then ventured into founding her own business manufacturing handmade lighting under the brand name Meiramaya and supplying to boutique hotel projects and retail stores.

Having moved to Edinburgh in May 2019 and joined LINKnet in August 2019 she is the Out-Reach Development Officer and is responsible for:

  • To organise and run monthly community events to address loneliness and isolation of minority ethnic women.
  • To identify complementary support services and negotiate with them on behalf of the service users.
  • To do outreach work to consult and network with public, private and voluntary sector organisations and individuals and engage in other promotional activities to recruit female befrienders/mentors for the Open Arms LINKnet project.

Afaf Azzahari- Recruitment Development Officer

Afaf comes from Morocco with a Licence degree in Linguistics with 12 years of English teaching experience helping with students’ progress and management system as well as getting involved in teacher training of her classroom assistant over a year. Afaf is tri-lingual being fluent in English, French and Arabic

Afaf moved to the UK in 2018 to join her husband who recommended LINKNET mentoring to her. She joined the organisation first as a volunteer and later as the Recruitment Development Officer.

Afaf is responsible for recruiting mentees as well mentors and pairing them as part of the organisation’s mentoring programme, helping and following up the mentee’s progress in education and employment, and finally networking with the public and private sectors as well as voluntary sector organisations and engaging in other promotional activities to recruit mentees and mentors.

Marites Hamilton – Admin Officer

Marites is originally from Philippines. She loves working with other people from different backgrounds. She studied Business management and Social work in The Philippines. After her graduation she worked as an administrator in a Private Secondary School for 4 years. Following that she worked for many years in a non-governmental Organisation as a Community worker in the poor communities in The Philippines. In the UK most of her work has been in customer facing roles. Also, she loves doing voluntary work with different charity organisations as a care worker and as a receptionist.

Mentors wanted


Testimonial 1

Olayinka Dada:
"I came in contact with LINKnet Mentoring Ltd through a family friend. And my first day at LINKnet was really welcoming and pleasant..."

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Testimonial 2

Pepita Gomez:
"I arrived in Edinburgh in Aug 2014 with my daughter. Our English was poor. I started learning English in a class that was conducted by an association."

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Testimonial 3

Russell Dadzie:
"I was introduced to LINKnet Mentoring by a friend who had received mentoring a couple of years ago."

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Current Funders

Scottish Government

Scottish Government's Promoting Equality and Community Cohesion Fund & Scottish Government's Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund


The City of Edinburgh Councils One City Trust

The City of Edinburgh Councils One City Trust


The Big Lottery Community Fund

The Big Lottery Community Fund


One City Trust Edinburgh

One City Trust Edinburgh


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