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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sierra Leonean appointed first black Deputy Mayor in London

HomeAYV NewsSierra Leonean appointed first black Deputy Mayor in London

Sierra Leonean appointed first black Deputy Mayor in London


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In a landmark achievement, Eddie Hanson, who fled Sierra Leone as a refugee, has been appointed the first Black Deputy Mayor of Camden, London.

Hanson’s appointment took place on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, during the Annual General Meeting of the Council, marking a significant milestone in his political career.

Eddie Hanson, a member of the UK Labour Party and CEO of The Game Changers UK, was elected councilor in May 2022. His journey from a war-torn childhood to a prominent political position in Camden reflects his resilience and dedication.

Hanson was born in Sierra Leone, a country that endured an eleven-year civil war, resulting in the deaths of over 50,000 people. Recalling his harrowing experiences during the conflict, Hanson shared, “You don’t know if you’re going to survive until the next day.”

The civil war forced many Sierra Leoneans, including Hanson, to seek refuge abroad. He vividly remembers being captured by a militia as a child and the constant uncertainty about his survival and the safety of his family. Tragically, Hanson’s brother was killed during the war.

“My brother died. He got killed during the war, and I know that a lot of civilians came to the UK as a sanctuary. I’m very delighted to be in Camden now, and for what Camden has provided myself and my family. Today I’m smiling – happy – but things were hard. Things were hard,” Hanson reflected.

Hanson’s family was among the fortunate ones who managed to escape the war, ultimately finding safety in the UK. He expressed deep gratitude for the sacrifices made by his parents and sisters, which allowed him to have a childhood that many of his contemporaries could only dream of.

As the UK tightens its immigration laws, Hanson highlighted the perilous journeys asylum seekers endure before they can apply for assistance from the government.

“My family was lucky,” he said. “I’m eternally grateful to my parents and my sisters as it’s because of their sacrifices that I had a childhood that my sisters growing up in hostels in Yugoslavia and hotels in Camden could only have dreamt of.”

Hanson’s appointment as Deputy Mayor is a testament to his perseverance and commitment to serving his community, representing a beacon of hope and progress for many.

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