Student campaigner whose work to provide dignity to refugee women in France is awarded 2016 Dr Abbas Khan Medal
Yasmin Milner, current fourth year MBBS student at the GKT School of Medical Education, has been awarded the 2016 Dr Abbas Khan Medal at the Award Ceremony held on Monday 6 February 2017.
Established in 2015, the Dr Abbas Khan Medal is awarded annually to a King’s medical student or recent graduate, who has made an outstanding contribution in the service of society, either in the UK or overseas.
Yasmin was nominated for and subsequently awarded the Medal for over a decade’s worth of humanitarian work with her most recent efforts being the Knickers for Dunkirk campaign.
Spending time in the Dunkirk refugee camp, France’s first and only internationally recognised refugee camp in France, Yasmin spoke with the women who while they were so grateful for the donations, they explained that between the use of second-hand underwear and the difficulty washing in breezy, portable shower cabins, thrush was now an everyday reality.
An everyday ‘luxury’ that we so often take for granted is that our underwear is just ours. Not donated, not stained, not second hand, Yasmin says of her experience at Dunkirk and speaking with the women.
Understanding the legal constraints of providing medical care, Yasmin and a co-founder set up Knickers for Dunkirk to raise awareness of the issue and nurture a sense of compassion and dignity. The campaign raised £2,500 within a month which provided a pack of five fresh pairs of underwear to each of the 150 women in the camp. With the additional funds, the campaign also purchased a pair of tracksuit bottom trousers for each woman.
Speaking of being awarded the Dr Abbas Khan Medal, she is absolutely thrilled:
All of the nominees had done such amazing work, each making an outstanding contribution to humanitarian causes. It was an honour to even be considered in their company.
I was delighted and humbled to meet the family of Dr Khan, who were so very generous, kind and supportive; meeting them, receiving the award, and celebrating the life of Dr Khan yesterday was very touching. It was an evening that I will remember forever, and it only propels me to continue with more work!
The Award Ceremony was attended by King’s College London’s Principal & President, Professor Edward Byrne AC who presented Yasmin with the medal. Speaking of Yasmin and the nominees work, Professor Byrne is inspired:
The work from all four nominees, including Mohammad Enam Ahmod, Faisel Alam and Naveed Khan, was just incredible and inspiring. To be young medical students, giving up their time to help those less fortunate across London and abroad is an example for us all.
Yasmin is a well-deserved recipient of the 2016 Dr Abbas Khan Medal. She has taught English in an orphanage in Nepal; volunteered with HIV services in rural Botswana; trekked the Indian Himalayas giving medical care to rural communities otherwise inaccessible; volunteered in homeless outreach services and soup kitchens; and run workshops for teenagers to raise awareness of mental health issues with non-for-profit social enterprise ‘Open Minds’.
Not resting on her laurels, Yasmin is continuing her work in London and abroad: Knickers for Dunkirk are liaising with organisations providing relief to Syria, she explains. And I am also continuing my work in London with asylum seekers, assisting with legal advocacy and access to mental health services.
The Award Ceremony was attended by Provost and Senior Vice President Professor Sir Robert Lechler; Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, Professor Richard Trembath; Interim Dean of Medical Education, Dr Louise Dubras and the Khan family. Dr Mads Gilbert, Medical Head, University Hospital of North Norway, provided the key note address.