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'Refugee of the Year' and 'Young Refugee of the Year' awards 2010

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The ‘Refugee of the Year’ is an annual award which began in 2009, coordinated by Migration Yorkshire. The award recognises the contribution of refugees to the Yorkshire and Humber region, focusing on the extraordinary individuals who embody this in their daily lives. In 2010 we had two awards: 'Refugee of the Year 2010' and the new award category of 'Young Refugee of the Year 2010' [for under 18s]. The Refugee of the Year and the Young Refugee of the Year each received a prize, and also hold the title of ‘Refugee of the Year 2010, Yorkshire and Humber’ or ‘ Young Refugee of the Year 2010, Yorkshire and Humber’. 

A woman from Huddersfield won the Refugee of the Year Award 2010. Mariam Tola Willliams from Nigeria was trafficked to the UK at the age of 14 after the deaths of her family and was kept as a domestic slave for two years. She finally escaped and a few months later received refugee status. Despite the trauma that Mariam has faced she is determined to get on with her life and help other people. She has been volunteering in her local community for two years at a charity shop and at her local hospital. She is now training as a mental health nurse, to help other people overcome their difficulties.

Mariam said, 'I’m so happy to be given this award and after this hard work I feel like the sky is my limit. Yorkshire is a good place to live with very friendly people who helped me to reach my dream. I hope that I can use the experience of what I have gone through, to help other people cope with problems in their lives'.
A panel of judges chose Mariam from three finalists, with a refugee from Burma living in Sheffield and a Palestinian refugee living in Leeds close runners-up. Mariam took over as Refugee of the Year from Fatemeh Shabram, the winner in 2009, a refugee from Iran who is now a midwife living in Wakefield.

Further information

Dave Brown, Head of Migration Yorkshire
Phone: 0113 395 2437

See also

Page last updated: 14/03/2014 11:32:58

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Your contact for this page

Dave Brown, Head of Migration Yorkshire

Email: Dave Brown

Phone: 0113 395 2437