Courage and growth
"I was born in the war torn country of Afghanistan. Since my birth up to 2001 I struggled for survival. The world seemed to me very cruel, but it was a child’s thinking. My toys were used bullets, we had no parks to play in, it was not safe to play outside with other young people. Life was very hard after losing my father at the age of 13 and we had no choice except to leave Afghanistan.
A new beginning
"Luckily I found a new homeland: Finland. In my new home and town I needed company, colleagues and opportunities. Nothing could have been as suitable as the Award programme, and I joined it doing all three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
"Although I was a refugee, the Award in Finland trusted me to represent them at an International Gold Event in Hong Kong in 2005. I am now solid, well prepared: a positive citizen, ready to face challenges and, more importantly, that lonely boy is now a young man having a network of friends around the world.
"The Award gives a young person courage and makes them a mature individual who is ready to grow. I feel revolutionary changes in me. There is a big difference in the Jassin of 2001 and today. All credit for this goes to the Award.
"The Award has touched my heart so much, I am now an Award volunteer. I travel round Finland and give the message of the Award to other young immigrants and refugees. Once a young boy said to me, ‘Jassin you know what, now I have so many Finn friends in this Award. They help me with my studies and make me feel useful in my free time.”