The Chief Executive of Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre (CRMC), Sabir Zazai, has announced that he will leave the charity next month to take up a new position as Chief Executive at Scottish Refugee Council.
It brings to an end a remarkable relationship with the charity; as its director for three years, but also as a former client, when he arrived in Coventry as a refugee from Afghanistan in 1999. Sabir said: “When I first arrived in Coventry, disorientated and knowing no English, I was anxious, frustrated and isolated.
“It was CRMC that offered me that first bit of help and hope. Little did I know that this initial act of kindness would take me to where I am today.
“While I am again crossing borders, Coventry will always remain as my home in my heart. I would like to thank all those at CRMC and in the city that have worked so tirelessly to support the vulnerable. It’s been a privilege to work with you, and I wish you all every success in the future.”
A special event is currently being planned to say goodbye to Sabir, which will also provide an opportunity to raise money for CRMC’s relocation later this year. The centre needs to raise £60,000 to fund the relocation so that it can continue to support refugees. He said: “Since I first arrived in the city, its people, places and organisations have never stopped inspiring me.
“Coventry has a long, proud history of supporting those that most need it, dating back to World War Two. That is why during my final month at CRMC, I would love to see as many familiar faces as possible at the event, giving me the opportunity to say thank you, while raising money for such an important cause.”
The event will take place on Wednesday 30th August 2017. Full details will be released on www.covrefugee.org, and the CRMC Facebook and Twitter pages later this week. Further details of the relocation can be found here.
Tim Godwin, Chair of the Board at CRMC paid tribute to the work Sabir has done at the charity. He said: “Sabir has been on a unique journey with the CRMC; starting as a service user when he first arrived, before becoming a volunteer and eventually rising to the position of Chief Executive.
“As a former refugee he has shown courage, using his personal experiences to highlight the plight of our clients and refugees and migrants around the world, and also to ensure practical support is provided to those who need it most.
“On behalf of all those connected to CRMC, I would like to thank Sabir for all his work and dedication, and wish him and his family the best as they embark on their new journey.”
The Board are now focusing on their search for replacing Sabir. Details will be released on www.covrefugee.org in the near future.