Akoi Bazzie, one of the first refugees resettled to the UK under the Gateway Protection Programme and now a member of staff at the Refugee Council, is to address the launch of the United Nations Annual Humanitarian Appeal in Geneva this Monday, 10 December. Sir Richard Branson will also be speaking at the launch.
Mr Bazzie, originally from Liberia, was part of the very first refugees to be resettled to the UK under the government’s resettlement programme, which began in 2004 by resettling Liberian refugees living in camps in Guinea run by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.
He is now living with his wife and family in Sheffield, and working for the Refugee Council as a Community Development worker.
Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“Akoi’s story is truly inspirational, and demonstrates the importance of the resettlement programme. He came here having lived in United Nations refugee camps for years, with no prospect of returning home. The Gateway Protection Programme gave him the opportunity of a new future; the chance to rebuild his life in safety.
“We are especially proud that he is now returning to the United Nations as a valued employee of the Refugee Council, as testimony to the importance of the UN’s work and of the resettlement programme. We hope that this will inspire the government to expand the programme and offer more people like Akoi sanctuary and a new start here in the UK.”
Notes to editor
1. The Gateway Resettlement Programme is a joint initiative between the British government and UNHCR.