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Coventry Half Marathon runners raise £46k for international emergency refugee fund

SABIR Zazai, Centre Director of Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC), was among 75 runners who have helped raise more than £46,000 for international humanitarian charity Penny Appeal in Coventry’s Half Marathon.

Money from The Penny Appeal’s Refugee Emergency campaign will help provide vital aid to those fleeing conflict, with the charity’s teams on the ground across Lebanon, Syria and Greece, delivering food, warm clothes and hygiene kits.

Sabir, who arrived in Britain as a refugee from Afghanistan in December 1999 aged 23, said: “It was a real delight for me as a former refugee and the CD of CRMC to be part of this amazing team to raise much needed funds to help refugees.

“I am really grateful to everyone for thinking of refugees and for supporting us to raise such a great amount that will go a long way in meeting the basic needs of refugees those who have lost everything as a direct result of war.”

Runners in the 13-mile single lap around the city centre on February 28 also included former contestants from BBC 1’s The Apprentice 2015 – Kosovan-born Mergim Butaja, aged 23 from Coventry, who fled the war-torn country when he was seven-years-old, and David Stevenson, aged 25, from Nottingham.

Find out about the campaign and donate at by calling 03000 11 11 11. To join #TeamOrange or find out about upcoming challenges and volunteer activities, visit

To read more about Sabir’s personal journey and work in the city go to

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