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Launch & Early Years

CHINAR International was launched in 2003, from simple beginnings in Northern Virginia, USA. Inspired by the opportunities of corporate America and fueled by a desire to serve the underprivileged, our founders built this organization with the goal of providing rehabilitation services to orphans and vulnerable children living in conflict areas. In 2004, the first pilot project called CHINAR Home – a home for 20 orphan boys and girls in Jammu and Kashmir, India – was successfully launched in partnership with a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). A year later, when the region was hit by a crisis in the form of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake, our founders naturally expanded the original scope to include disaster relief services. That year, we provided rehabilitation services to a border village in Uri district and arranged remote sponsorships for vulnerable children.


Organizational Restructuring & Relaunch

In 2011, after 8 years of work in the non-profit sector, we conducted a thorough organizational review along with a detailed assessment and evaluation of our pilot project. Soon after, CHINAR International was restructured with a new scalable goal – delivering impactful, innovative and sustainable solutions to the most pressing social problems related to orphans, vulnerable children and marginalized youth. As part of the restructuring, we revised our programs to shift towards a community transformation model based approach and also made changes to our overall management including remote governance, operations, monitoring and oversight. After CHINAR International concluded its partnership with the local NGO, we began to work independently in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir to execute our new strategy.


Continued Evolution & Growth

CHINAR International continues to grow each year and our commitment to our mission remains as strong as ever. Today, we manage operations across all districts of Kashmir and two districts of Jammu. Our global offices are currently located in Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), Delhi (India) and Virginia (USA).


Founder & Global Executive Director

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Our Story - CHINAR International

Irfan Shahmiri

After spending almost two decades in corporate America, Irfan quit his job at Microsoft in 2011 to focus on CHINAR International full-time. As chief architect in both USA and India, he has been instrumental in improving organizational performance and driving overall growth. He runs a tight ship and over the years has aggressively advanced CHINAR International into one of the top non-profits of Jammu & Kashmir. Irfan is driven to develop solutions that address the root cause of the problem related to youth and children of conflict – solutions that are sustainable, cost effective, scalable and high impact. Solid in principles and relentless in his pursuit for large-scale social impact, Irfan envisions CHINAR International to be one of the leaders in the nonprofit space.

Prior to CHINAR, Irfan worked in many companies in the United States including DEC, Compaq, HP, and Fannie Mae. He grew up in Kashmir, India and holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar and a Master of Science from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He is a founding member of both CHINAR organizations (Virginia, USA – 2003 and Srinagar, India – 2011).

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Get To Know Our Leadership Team.

Our team is comprised of a dynamic, diverse and experienced group of individuals dedicated to the mission, vision and values of our organization.