Student Anna hopes to fight for human rights
SHE was forced to flee her home country due to religious persecution, and with her family was deported from the UK.
But now Anna Mammedova is hoping to win a bursary to help her study law.
And inspired by her work with Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group — where she visits to listen to and offer support and advice to refugees — if she succeeds, she plans to ultimately work as a human rights lawyer.
It has been an eventful journey for the 18-year-old, who completed her A-levels at Olchfa this summer, and is set to begin her studies at the London School of Economics later this month.
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Too scared of repercussions if she reveals the country she fled, she said: "My father, brother and I are Muslims, but my mother is a Christian, which meant she would receive physical and verbal abuse where we came from. We arrived here in 2003, but were deported two years later.
"I can remember the time we were being taken to the airport. I was petrified. I did not want to go back, I have made many friends here.
"I call Britain home, and did not feel safe back there. We spent two periods in detention centres, the second for three months."
It was while at the detention centre that Anna met actor Juliet Stevenson and became involved with her to produce a theatrical production about the plight of refugees, called Motherland.
Anna also went on to work with Bafta-winning film company Mosaic Film Studios, to produce a animated story for children portraying the challenges faced by refugees.
She is now hoping to win a bursary competition, run by HSBC, which offers ten people the chance to win £10,000 in order to make their mark on the world.
Julian Kennedy, assistant head teacher at Olchfa, said: "Anna is a very intelligent and capable young lady. Anna worked extremely hard and achieved starred As in all her A-levels.
"Her personal story and commitment to helping others who have faced persecution and discrimination is an inspiration for all.
"Anna is exactly the type of young person we need to shape the future."
As part of the bursary competition, Anna has produced a short video, explaining how she wants to make a mark on the world.
Viewers can vote for the candidate they think is most worthy of the top prize.
To do so, visit : www.facebook.com/ hsbcstudents. Voting closes on September 28.