Every year, hundreds of Australians fundraise for Team UNHCR. From bake sales, trivia nights and garage sales to feats of considerable daring – think skydiving for donations from friends and family – what unites these acts of generosity and compassion are everyday people who want to help change the plight of the world’s refugees.

Nhan Phan is one of our heroes for humanity. Born in Vietnam, Nhan now lives in the Sydney suburb of Carlingford with her husband and three daughters.

Why did you decide to fundraise for Team UNHCR in 2017?

Australia saved my life and the lives of my parents, my two brothers and my sister. After the horrific war in Vietnam, we fled our home in a tiny fishing boat, not knowing whether we were going to survive.

I am forever grateful that Australia accepted my family. We have called Australia home since 1977, and worked hard to do our part for this great country. Last year marked 40 years since we arrived here, and I decided to ‘pay it forward’ by raising money to help other refugees.

Australia saved my life and the lives of my parents, my two brothers and my sister.

Nhan Phan, herself a former refugee, ran the City2Surf in 2017 with Team UNHCR and raised money to help provide live-saving aid and protection to refugees around the world.

When you join Team UNHCR you become part of a community of passionate Australians who want to help change the plight of the world’s refugees.

Why did you choose the City2Surf as your fundraiser?

I hadn’t run this distance before and I was looking for a real personal challenge. Having been a refugee myself, I have a deep understanding of the challenges facing today’s refugees. They are forced to leave everything behind and flee their homes without knowing their destination. It is never an easy journey. It takes a lot of determination and commitment.

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, so I took my first step and chose to run the City2Surf for refugees.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining Team UNHCR?

Together Everyone Achieves More – TEAM. I truly believe that together we can make this world a better place. When you’re part of Team UNHCR you have the chance to help people in need – people who need safety, a home, peace. Australia for UNHCR has already helped to make an impact on many people’s lives, and every little bit of support counts and can make a difference.

What are your plans for future running events?

I will definitely run again for Team UNHCR because I want to raise more money for refugees, especially the Rohingya people forced to flee their homes in Myanmar. I believe that everyone deserves a safe place to call home and the freedom and opportunity to achieve their potential.


Ready to join Team UNHCR? Head to our website for more information, tips on how to fundraise and a calendar of upcoming events!
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