North West Migrants Forum

‘Without our volunteers we would not be here’

THE North West Migrants Forum has held an evening of celebration to recognise the tireless work of its volunteers.

Former Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Sandra Duffy visited the Forum’s centre on Fountain Street to present certificates to those who have dedicated time and energy to the charity.

The event was held as part of Volunteers Week where countless similar celebrations were held across Ireland and the UK.

Abdulelah Ali Sallam being presented with his certificate by Mayor Sandra Duffy.

Speaking at what was one of her last events as mayor, Councillor Duffy said, “People who volunteer in our communities are the absolute lifeblood of organisations, whether they give hours, days or weeks.

“We can put a lot on volunteers and we are so grateful for them because without them we could not function.

“I know the work that goes on here at the Migrants Forum and the welcoming space that has been created. I have had the pleasure of being here before and it is great that we have a facility like this.”

Amir Abbas Kalhor being congratulated for his work by Mayor Sandra Duffy and North West Migrants Forum Director of Programmes Lilian Seenoi Barr.

Referring to the Migrants Forum’s Director of Programmes Lilian Seenoi Barr, Councillor Duffy added, “We have just had an election and we have elected our first black woman. I’m very proud that Derry has done that. I think it is testament to our city and the wonderful place it is.”

Lilian Seenoi Barr said that while volunteers have always played an important role, their efforts have become even more vital as finances have tightened.

She told those gathered, “Without you, our volunteers, I don’t think we would be where we are.

“This organisation started in 2012 and because of our volunteers it has grown wings and flown.

Beraki Gebremichael receiving thanks from Lilian Seenoi Barr and Mayor Sandra Duffy.

“The work you do here, it is invaluable. We know how tight budgets have become, we know how difficult it is for organisations like ours to get funding. So to function properly, we rely on people like yourselves.

“When I look around I see people who started with me, I see people who have joined over the years and it is your commitment that has helped create a shared and inclusive society.

“I want to say a massive thank you because without you, we would not be able to continue with the work that we do.

“All the success we have had is your success and I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Ms Barr added.

Collecting a certificate on behalf of Bintan Ashorobi is Idowu Alli.
Hala Waleed being thanked by Mayor Sandra Duffy and Migrants Forum Director of Programmes Lilian Seenoi Barr.
Idris Mahmud Mohammed all smiles as he receives his certificate.
Kenneth Odumukwu picking up his certificate from Lilian Seenoi Barr and Mayor Sandra Duffy.
Sudanese national Khalid Ahmed collecting his certificate.
Mayor Duffy and Lilian Seenoi Barr presenting Marija Stuke with her certificate of recognition.
Lilian Seenoi Barr and Mayor Sandra Duffy recognising the work of Massoud Khodadadzadeh.
Monadel Bazarra collecting his certificate from Lilian Seenoi Barr and Mayor Sandra Duffy.
Volunteer Nina Mukherji with Mayor Sandra Duffy.
Paul Sceeny was delighted to collect his certificate.
The work of Sima Shekarchi was recognised by Lilian Seenoi Barr and Mayor Sandra Duffy during Volunteers Week.