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Magid Magid hosts reception in London for the York Sanctuary Fund

Posted on 2 March 2024

On Thursday, 29 February, friends and alumni of the University of York gathered at the Royal Society of Arts to support the York Sanctuary Fund - our fund to ensure a realistic package of support to those seeking sanctuary.

Dr Magid Magid, Somali-British Activist championing racial and climate justice and York Hon Grad, hosted the event and spoke passionately about the difference the fund can make alongside human rights defenders on a CAHR fellowship and equal access scholars. 

Other advocates and internal stakeholders attending the event include Professor Ken Badcock, UoY Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost and Professor Paul Gready, Co-Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).

Magid Magid spoke on the night:

“The York Sanctuary Fund isn't just a lifeline; it's our collective shot at rewriting the narrative for asylum seekers, refugees, human rights defenders, and academics at risk. It’s like crowdfunding for the soul, proving that when we come together, we can turn the tide of adversity into waves of opportunity. In a world that often feels like it's spinning off its axis, this fund stands as a testament to the fact that yes, we can offer more than just thoughts and prayers. We can offer scholarships, fellowships, and, most importantly, hope.”

Equal Access Scholarship recipient, Mamoon, also spoke about the impact of his scholarship:

"On the 15th of August 2021, Afghanistan’s capital was captured by the Taliban... I was certain that I would not be able to leave Afghanistan, relocate my family, and begin my PhD at York. By late August, 2021, I received a message from the University of York, offering information and assistance to safely depart. My family and I drove from Afghanistan to Pakistan in mid-September 2021, passing through many Taliban checkpoints. Making the journey and leaving all of our loved ones behind was a stressful experience. After several weeks’ journey, we arrived safely in York, a City of Sanctuary."

"The University provided us with every possible support. If it hadn’t been for the Equal Access Scholarships, my PhD would not have been possible, and my children (Sana and Yousuf) would not have been able to return to school."

We want to build on our existing fundraising efforts and go a step further, to be able to respond and not just react. We want to offer more Equal Access scholarships, host more Human Rights Defenders, offer placements to more Academics at Risks, and be able to provide Emergency Support if and when needed. 

The York Sanctuary Fund is our next step in that commitment.

Find out more on our York Sanctuary Fund webpage, or email

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