Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Heart of STAR 2013 - Natasha Chilambo

In celebration of STAR’s 25th birthday, we took the time to reconnect and share the stories of the people who made it possible for STAR to be where it is today. These are The Hearts of STAR, these are the change-makers, who through the decades strived to positively impact the lives of refugees and create a welcoming society in the UK and we are proud to share their stories with you on this Refugee Week 2020.

Natasha Chilambo

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2013 – 2016 at Cardiff STAR & 2019 as Student Network Assistant at STAR
Current job: Final Year medical student at King’s College London, Co-Founder and Chair of ACMA UK (African Caribbean Medical Association)

How and why did you get involved in STAR?

A friend took me to a house party: the president of Cardiff STAR at the time was hosting it and she mentioned STAR. The following week I went to drop in and never looked back!

What impact did you see STAR have on your community:

a. At university
We campaigned for Equal Access and were successful. A student who was involved in the campaign and was a recipient of one of Cardiff’s scholarships has now graduated with a law degree!

b. Locally
The drop-in in Cardiff was such a welcoming hud: people coming in and out, donating food, clothes, and their time made it a special place for the community.

What is your favourite thing about STAR?

Drop-in! Drinking tea, laughing at videos, eating all sorts of homemade goodies, going to the beach.

What impact did STAR have on your life or on what you do now?

I have a much deeper appreciation of the experiences of people from refugee backgrounds. This makes me a much better advocate within my medical field. STAR has also inspired and pushed me to continue my activism work: without it, I don’t think I would have had the insight or courage to start a charity myself.

What message would you like to give the current STAR students?

What you do is absolutely groundbreaking!

Posted by STAR team on 17/06/2020 at 07:07 PM