Amna’s life is a testament to resilience and dedication as she emerges as a formidable advocate for
refugee rights. Hailing from Pakistan, she became a refugee in Malaysia in 2014. Despite the
hardships, she achieved a B.Sc. (Hons) Biomedical Science Degree from the University of
Nottingham on a scholarship, earning acclaim for her Best Research Project and Best Research
Proposal Pitch, and publishing her capstone project in an esteemed international journal. Her
academic journey culminated in being named Valedictorian of the class of 2020 at the School of
Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, Malaysia.
Since 2020, Amna has been making significant strides as the Program Coordinator of CERTE, and
presently, as the Co-Coordinator of CERTE Malaysia. Over five years, she served as a youth leader
at the Dignity for Children Foundation, empowering marginalized youths with her time and
expertise. Amna’s advocacy for gender rights is evident in her role as the focal point for Women &
Girls at Risk (WAGAR), where she raised awareness about sexual and gender-based violence
within the refugee community. In a collaboration with UNHCR & University of New South Wales,
she took the lead in designing and coordinating the “Digital Literacy Project,” which equipped 50
refugee women with essential digital skills. Amna’s commitment to refugee rights is all-
encompassing, spanning higher education access, livelihood attainment, gender-based violence
and participatory approaches in refugee-led initiatives.
Now based in Canada after nine years in Malaysia, Amna is preparing to pursue a Master of Health
Sciences in Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto. Alongside her studies, she volunteers
at hospitals in Toronto and remains actively engaged with the Global Tertiary Refugee Student
Network. Deeply grateful for CERTE being acknowledged as a Best Practice in the Global
Compact on Refugees, she now holds the esteemed position of Director of OUR (Opening
Universities for Refugees).
Amna’s journey is a testament to the power of education and determination in advocating for
refugee rights. Her multifaceted efforts have touched the lives of countless refugees, empowering
them to break barriers and create better futures.