Young Brighton refugees to be honoured in Parliament

A group of young refugees who have worked to improve the lives of their peers across Britain have won a Your UK Parliament Award.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 11:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 11:41 am
The Hummingbird Young Leaders: Nisar Gul, Naqeeb Saide, Tariq Khan, Wasim Al Yousef and Mohamad Aljasem, with Labour MP Emily Thornberry

The Hummingbird Young Leaders, made up of five young refugees in Brighton, have organised and attended events locally and around the country, including meeting with MPs to speak about the rights of refugees.

They will receive The Community Campaigner Award, which recognises an individual or organisation who has worked towards change in their local community, encouraging and enabling others to do the same.

The Your UK Parliament Awards were launched to celebrate the work of people all over the UK who make a difference in their communities and beyond.

The Hummingbird Young Leaders

Award winners were chosen by the Speaker of the House of Commons, a judging panel of MPs, Peers and independent judges. The Your UK Parliament Awards ceremony will be hosted by the Speaker in the Houses of Parliament today (April 2).

The Hummingbird Young Leaders: Nisar Gul, Naqeeb Saide, Tariq Khan, Wasim Al Yousef and Mohamad Aljasem, who are all aged between 18 to 22, said they were 'delighted' to be receiving the award.

Naqeeb, 18, said: “This award means a lot to me because it gives us strength. It shows us that there are people listening to our stories and believing in changes we want to make. Recognition like this unites our communities and encourages us to stand together, shoulder to shoulder.”

Mohamad, 22, said: “I’m proud to get recognition for the work we’ve been doing, highlighting issues around refugees and asylum seekers in this country. It has made me feel stronger and more confident about my own future. I am also hopeful about the necessary and positive changes to immigration policy that will improve the lives of other people like me.”

The Hummingbird Young Leaders will be handed awards in Parliament today

David Clark, head of education and engagement at UK Parliament, said: “All of the winners have made a huge difference in their communities and beyond, and importantly will also inspire others to get involved and make their voices heard in democracy. The Your UK Parliament Awards recognises the successes of those who go above and beyond to engage others with Parliament and democracy, and everyone who won an award should be immensely proud.”

The Hummingbird Refugee Project is a youth-led charity based in Brighton that runs four core services for young refugees, including the Young Leaders Program.

Through regular workshops and events, they have been trained in public speaking, leadership, community work and campaigning. The young leaders have also enjoyed receiving training organised by the Houses of Parliament Education Department in UK politics and Law. In addition to their studies the young leaders fill up their spare time to working with MPs, charity heads and local communities to raise awareness of the complex issues faced by young refugees.

They work to banish negative stereotypes of young refugees and strive to give others chances that they did not.