Refugee marathon run a success story

Excerpted from an article written by Zoe Pierce for the Winnipeg Free Press. Read the entire article here.

Look how far they’ve come.

Two years ago, Afghan refugee Fatemeh Jafari, 28, immigrated to Canada with her younger brother Ali. On Sunday, Jafari finished her first-ever marathon — in her newly adopted home — after two years of training and perseverance.

“I feel great,” an emotional Jafari told the Free Press after completing the Manitoba Marathon. “It means a lot of things. I don’t know how to tell you. This is more than a family for us. More than a community.”

The Jafari siblings are among four refugee athletes who ran in the 46th edition of the marathon with Lamp Lifeboat Ladder, a program of Reed Smith LLP which settles refugees to Canada and helps them rebuild their lives.

Supported by The World Refugee and Migration Council (WRMC), Lamp Lifeboat Ladder launched its running team in January 2022. The international group includes over 35 runners from nine countries who participate in 21K and 42K races in three continents.

“We wanted to think of a way to help people have a sense of safety and a sense of community,” said Jayne Fleming, Lamp Lifeboat Ladder director. “Being together, doing something that was fun and healthy.”

Find out more about the World Refugee & Migration Council’s new work with partners to create protection pathways for refugees: