Sanctuary Stories

Wednesday 26 June 2024

During this year’s Refugee Week (1721 June 2024), we shared stories from displaced students who have found a home at Balliol, supported by the generosity of Old Members, students and friends of the College. These include: Tibyan Babiker, who came to Balliol in 2023 on a full scholarship to study Pharmacology after fleeing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan; Maryna Oproshchenko, who joined Balliol in 2022 to study for an MSc in Financial Economics following the Russian invasion of Ukraine; and Simon Dradri, who came to Balliol in 1989 on the JCR Refugee Scholarship, made possible by Balliol students, and has since spent his career in international development and humanitarian aid.

Building on Balliol’s proud history of support for displaced students, the Balliol Sanctuary Fund was launched in 2023. The Fund aims to provide a secure home for students fleeing conflicts and repression by fully funding one undergraduate and postgraduate at Balliol on an ongoing basis.

As part of Refugee Week, members of Balliol’s Junior Common Room (JCR) and Middle Common Room (MCR) have resolved to raise funds through the Balliol Sanctuary Fund to provide scholarships for fellow students seeking sanctuary from the crisis in Gaza and other global conflicts. They joined hundreds of Old Members and friends who have already provided generous support to the Sanctuary Fund.

Your continued support of the Sanctuary Fund has the power to transform lives, as demonstrated by the experiences of Tibyan, Maryna, and Simon. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.

If you would like to continue the College’s tradition of welcome and help support students fleeing conflict and repression to come to Balliol, please consider making a gift to the Balliol Sanctuary Fund today.