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Students inspired by former child refugee turned diplomat

SIXTH form students at a Bradford school were paid a visit by a child refugee turned senior British diplomat yesterday, who shared his experiences to try and inspire students.

Kanbar Hossein-Bor came to the UK as a child refugee from Iran, aged seven, living in Southampton in his youth.

He trained as a lawyer before joining the foreign office and into mainstream diplomacy.

This December, subject to approval from the Bangladeshi government, he will take up a new role as the British Deputy High Commissioner in Bangladesh, based at the High Commission in the capital Dhaka.

Now 37-years-old, Mr Hossein-Bor has visited Carlton Bolling College in Undercliffe as part of the Britain Helps campaign run by the Home Office, Foreign Office, and Department for International Development, to talk about the work the UK does to help abroad in providing aid, what he will be doing in Bangladesh when he moves, and also about his personal story.

He said he is “really excited” to take up his role and looked forward to speaking to the students.

“This was my first time in Bradford,” he said.

“The city is a very diverse and interesting place, and I enjoy coming to places like this and sharing my story with others.

“I hope I can play a small role in helping young people understand British values and the British dream.

“The UK has done a tremendous amount for me, and this is just a small way of giving something positive back.”

As part of his talk with the A-Level students at Carlton Bolling, Mr Hossein-Bor focused on the plight of Rohingya Muslims, who are flooding into Bangladesh to seek refuge after fleeing Myanmar in recent months.

He talked about how British aid is helping to provide emergency food to 174,000 people in the country, lifesaving nutritional support to more than 60,000 children aged five and under and more than 21,000 pregnant and breast-feeding women, safe drinking water, soap, cooking items, shelter, female sanitary items, and counselling and psychological support.

Mr Hossein-Bor was joined at the school by Linda Cowie, Azam Ali and Ameerah Desai-Turner from Bradford-based charity The Linking Network, which visits schools to try and promote diversity, equality and help young people explore their identity.

They were welcomed to the school by headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw before visiting the Carlton Bolling Sixth Form Centre, where Mr Hossein-Bor spoke to a group of students.

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