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Launch of York Sanctuary Fund

Posted on 14 March 2023

Tuesday, 14 March marked the launch of the York Sanctuary Fund at a beautiful ceremony alongside the official opening of the David Kato College.

This is a fund which hopes to build a sustainable, realistic package of support for people seeking sanctuary. A fund which takes into consideration the multiple challenges people face, the unpredictable nature of global issues impacting them and the increasing number of applicants wishing to unlock this support.

In her speech, Elke Versmessen, Chair of the York Sanctuary Fund Development Board, marked the launch of the York Sanctuary Fund which will offer Scholarship and Fellowship funding and support existing schemes such as the Equal Access Scholarships, the Human Rights Defenders Programme at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, and the Council for At-Risk Academics fellowships. 

As Elke said in her speech: “At a time when 1 in every 78 people on earth has been displaced, the role of a University of Sanctuary is more important than ever before. And this is why we are building a new fund that will allow us to react to changing circumstances at pace, ensuring the help and support needed can be accessed without delay."


"Personally, I am inspired by the scholars that I have met and the colleagues across the University who support them. So I will end with a simple and direct request that you help us to help others like David and Maryam to experience the University of York as a place of Sanctuary.”

Should you wish to make a donation online, you can do so here:

Should you wish to consider making a more significant donation, over one or more years, then please contact Kalli Keramari, Philanthropy Manager at email: