Sarah Ahmadi

My name is Sarah Ahmadi. I am from Afghanistan; I came to the UK to make a better life for myself and away from the conflict that was happening in my country at the time.

In Afghanistan I studied and specialised in media and culture at university. Making a successful career in Afghanistan as a TV director, presenter, and university lecturer. At that time, I was also the chair of the Afghan women’s education centre and chief editor of a magazine called ‘Women’. I overcome many obstacles in my journey to becoming the woman who I am today. Surviving the war-torn country of Afghanistan, going against the odds, and fleeing the country to came to the UK, and having to deal with the lots of issues and difficulties. However, due to my prestigious status, qualifications, and profession in Afghanistan, I was given a visa, and then got my British citizenship in 2006. I came to England with very little English language skills, and upon arrival I was determined to educate and improve myself to enable me to integrate into society and make a good quality of life for myself in the UK. With no family or friends to support me I put all my time and effort into educating myself, learning the English language, and gaining ICT skills. I studied for 3 years to gain my teaching qualifications CTTL and PTTL. With my own personal experience of being an asylum seeker and the prejudice I faced due to my lack of knowledge; I pursued my need to educate myself to the highest level I was capable of. I completed my masters and gained my PGCE qualification in Education from Sunderland university. With sheer determination to not only improve my own life, but also with a view to make a difference to others who were in a situation similar to me.

Today I am a trusted and highly respected member of the community, changing lives for the better for refugees, asylum seekers and people in the BME community. I have gone onto form registered charities, in 2004 establishing the ‘Afghan British Association’, catering to ethnic minorities. In 2007 after successfully running her previous charity, I established a new organisation ‘United Community Action’ inclusive of the BME community, Local communities, asylum seekers and refugees. The organisation specifically focused on improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the community through various projects and courses to help develop both their language skills as well as providing them with the knowledge of local life, culture, and British values.

You can come to a country with nothing and make your life, but you must then try your best to help others.

In 2018, UCA in partnership with BIC (Northeast Business Innovation Centre) I delivered the LA7 project, which was funded by Gateshead council. The project was a great success, and due to this in 2019 I formed a partnership with BIC, to widen my clientele range and further deliver valuable courses and projects around the Northeast area. I joined BIC in 2019 and since then I have worked as Project Manager running different projects. I am still working for BIC and running a (RISE) programme where I train and help refugees to setup their businesses.

I rebuilt my life here from zero scratch and feel I have made great progress; I am proud of what I have achieved. Given my own journey, I want to send a clear message to those who in my situation, you can come to a country with nothing and make your life, but you must then try your best to help others.

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