Jasmin Akter: Rohingya Refugee to the BBC Women's 100 Women

Jasmin Akter has been named in the BBC Women’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019. Alongside this young cricket prodigy, the likes of Megan Rapinoe and Greta Thunberg have also been named in this empowering 100 list.

Jasmin was born in a refugee camp (Nyapara Camp) in Bangladesh, shortly after her father passed away. 

“I spent almost a decade in destitute poverty. I did not have access to education, or my human rights.”

In 2014 her life was completely “turned upside down” whilst visiting Bangladesh. Jasmin, her brother and mother suffered a near death experience whilst in a car accident that completely changed their family’s lives forever. 

Jasmin’s mother was severely paralysed and put onto life support, she stayed in the Bangladesh hospital for three months with no travel insurance – the hospital expenses were “through the roof” until she could travel back to the UK with the correct medical support to fly. Her mother was in and out of hospitals for over two years in the UK, with huge stress being placed on her family to provide.

At the age of 16 whilst still, in full-time education, she became her mother’s carer rotating the support with her brothers and sister. Having turned down a full scholarship to America and leaving Bradford City Football Club, Jasmin stepped up to provide for her mother, a challenging choice for any teenager.

After her potential was noted whilst coaching at the Karmand Centre (her local community center) Jasmin was selected to represent Team England at the first-ever Street Child Cricket World Cup held by Street Child United. Jasmin describes Street Child United as her “light at the end of the tunnel”, after speaking at the Houses of Parliament and captaining Team England at the Street Child Cricket World Cup Final at Lords, the organisation has helped restore confidence and hope for Jasmin. 

Jasmin is currently studying a BTEC Level 3 in Business with hopes to one day become a business manager. However, her passion for coaching and volunteering within her community is also a key interest.

“I have broken barriers; I rose above the expectations and it is important that young girls from all different backgrounds can see that”.

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