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Inspirational student shortlisted for national award

News overview

An orphan who travelled over 5000 miles to live in Suffolk before overcoming illness and a language barrier has been shortlisted for a national award.

ESOL learner Kindi bah and Head of ESOL Suzy Haynes

Kindi Bah, 18, was originally from Guinea.

After arriving in the UK, he was so malnourished that he had to spend around a year in hospital.

After receiving no education in his homeland, Kindi used his recovery time to learn English whilst also gaining knowledge of British culture and maths thanks to the support of Suffolk New College.

In his second year with the college, Kindi passed all his exams, became a student representative, had a 100% attendance record, was involved in a sustainability project, helped other learners settle in to college life, used his baking skills as part of a celebratory occasion based around Africa and worked with individuals to support their learning.

He also received an ESOL student of the year awards for his efforts during the 2023 college student awards ceremony.

As a result of these efforts, Kindi has been shortlisted for an Association of Colleges (AoC) young student of the year student award and he will find out if he has become a finalist on 19 October 2023. All winners will then be announced during the AoC annual conference that will be held on 14 November 2023.

Kindi Bah at the Suffolk New College Showcase Awards Evening

He will then have an opportunity to attend an awards celebration event in London next year for all winners and nominees.

The deputy principal of Suffolk New College, Marianne Flack put Kindi forward for this award. Marianne said; “We are often humbled by the life stories we hear of our young unaccompanied asylum seekers and Kindi’s story is no different.  His life has already been fraught with many challenges, danger and heartache. However, he has been able to focus on the future and not the past and in addition to his efforts, he has constantly looked to inspire those around him. Kindi is a delightful student. He has a great personality, a positive attitude to learning and a role model for others and a credit to himself and the college. We are so proud of him and wish him well in this competition.”

Kindi Bah, 18, who now lives in Wembley said: “Suffolk New College was the best time in my life. I got a lot of help and support from people. It was perfect years for me.”

In terms of being shortlisted for the award, Kindi said: “I’m so happy to be shortlisted for the award. It would be amazing to win.”

Posted 18 October 2023