The focus of Refugee Week this year was on highlighting the Unsung Heroes of the Olympics – refugees working behind the scenes to make it happen, and who make everyday contributions in their communities around the UK.

Below are the stories from Cynthia, Kolbassia, Téa and Luka- who were the four we chose to feature in our final Refugee Week 2012 campaign.


Cynthia fled Zimbabwe in 2005. In 2011 she was a finalist for the Spirit of London Young Hero Award. She helped 60 young people to secure jobs at the Olympic games, working for an organisation that successfully campaigned for more than 1000 Olympic workers to be paid the London Living Wage. During the games she will be leading a team of catering staff.


Téa was a successful musician in Bosnia, before she escaped the war in the early 90’s. Since then , she has impressively rebuilt her career in the UK and will now be performing at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.


Luka had to flee Zimbabwe in 2003 and is a leading human rights activist for Zimbabweans all over the world. As a Civil Engineering student in the UK, he is proud to be contributing to life in this country by being part of the Olympic support team during the Olympic Games.


Kolbassia fled from Africa several years ago. Since then he has learned English and gained a Masters degree. He now works with Freedom from Torture and coordinates the Survivors Speak Out Network of torture survivors in the UK. As a Trailblazer volunteer, he has worked for the past three years for the preparation for London 2012. He will be a Games Maker in the Basketball Arena for the Olympics.

You can view some of our images from our London 2012 Unsung Hereos photoshoot at Celebrating Sanctuary London here

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