On World Refugee Day 2016, as Britain begins Refugee Week, a week-long nation-wide festival promoting the contribution of refugees to British society, the team at JRS UK are celebrating the Gold sporting success of one of their refugee friends. They are also trying to take in an extraordinary gesture of generosity.
Director of JRS UK, Sarah Teather explains: “At JRS UK we have supported Carine for a number of years in small ways. We helped her with some costs towards her wheelchair, and helped her to compete in the British Weightlifting Paralympic Championships in Coventry by giving her a tiny grant for the registration fee. We know otherwise that it would have been impossible for her to compete. We were over the moon when Carine won a gold medal.”
But what the team hadn’t expected is what Carine did next. “Carine was absolutely insistent that we must have her gold medal” Sarah explained. “She wanted us to have it as a thank you and dedicated it to Louise Zanré, for all of her support over the years.” Louise Zanré, was the much loved JRS UK Director for many years and died suddenly a few months ago.
Carine wrote a special note to the team: “I want to say thank you for all the JRS. All the people working hard for asylum persons like me. Many thanks. Specially thank for Louise Zanré for everything you did for me. I dedicate you my British Championship medal. I will never forget you.”
“We were overwhelmed that Carine should want to give something so precious and special to us”, Sarah said. “Every day here at JRS UK we meet the extraordinary generosity of refugees. Most of our refugee friends are financially destitute, but they give back what they have in ways that are astonishing and awe inspiring.”