How our volunteers helped refugee Shakib

How our volunteers helped refugee Shakib

This is Shakib, an Iraqi refugee studying chemistry at Hull University. Our volunteers met him just a few months ago living in Napier Barracks.

Growing up in Iraq, Shakib lived with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees, regular serious flooding and other climate-related disasters. Iraq is among the countries most vulnerable to climate-change disruptions and this made him want to use his passion for chemistry to study ways of fighting climate change, so he enrolled as a chemistry student at university.

He was mid-way through his studies when he had to flee the country last year. Arriving in the UK the government housed him in Napier, and began his endless wait for his asylum interview.  He found life hard, but he is one of the most determined people we’ve ever met. He refused to give up on his dream.

Still waiting for his interview he applied for university courses. It’s incredibly hard for an asylum seeker to get a university place, but Hull University was so impressed with his application it offered to let him finish his BSc degree, and then progress to the masters.

The only problem was that because he went straight into the third year of the course he wasn’t eligible for scholarships. And refugees are not eligible to work or apply for student finance.

It seemed that his dream might die, but our brilliant Care4Calais volunteers in Folkestone were not going to let that happen.

Needing the best part of £9000, they set about fundraising and appealing for donations. Gradually the money came in. They made the first two instalments. But with a few days to go before the final one had to be paid, they were still £1500 short.

Incredibly, a last-minute push got them there. As a result, the UK will now keep this outstanding, climate-change-fighting science student.

This is a wonderful achievement that shows what can be done when people work together. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped.

Please come and join our amazing and passionately-committed volunteers, who do such incredible things to help incredible people: go to

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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