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An ambitious young man has won a Yorkshire Housing award for his determination and drive.

Christian Lufwa was highly commended in the Young Person of the Year Award for his dedication and hard work in gaining qualifications and securing a job. The 24-year-old was nominated for the award by employments and benefits advisor Imran Hussain. Imran said Christian was a role model for young people. “I put Christian forward because of his back story, his resilience, determination and resolve. He is a good role model for others.”

Christian was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in 2005 he came to the UK as a child refugee along with his four siblings after the outbreak of war in the African country. The children never knew their parents and were raised by their grandmother in Congo and later their aunt when they arrived in the UK.

“I migrated with my siblings when I was 10,” said Christian. “We lived with family in the UK until we were old enough to get our own house when my brother was 18.”

Christian finished school in 2010 and went on to do painting and decorating for two years before taking up an apprenticeship with Leeds City Council. After this he completed his full training in carpentry and joinery with another company and when this ended he received help and advice from Imran to secure another job. This included help with updating his CV and improving his interview skills. Now Christian, who lives in Wortley, has been working for Leeds City Council as a joiner for almost two years thanks to the help he received from the Yorkshire Housing team.

“It is great,” said Christian. “Joinery is a vast trade so there is a lot to learn. The Yorkshire Housing scheme is there to help people. I represent young people and I want to show them that there is help out there. Not all of us are into cars and chasing girls. It is about getting the right help and being given a chance. And if this happens we will try and do something with our lives.”

His ambition now is to become a supervisor. “I have never seen a person of ethnic minority in LCC in a managerial or supervisory role so I hope to become a supervisor one day. There is diversity but there are few higher positions so that would be an ambition of mine.”

Christian hopes to bring his grandmother to the UK from DRC one day and sees his future in Congo.

“I see myself getting old and moving back to DRC. Being here has given me the opportunity to further my education and as a young person you need help to be self-reliant and Yorkshire Housing has provided that. This is a way of helping myself and my family back home.”

To learn more about how Yorkshire Housing can help you with employment and training, visit the team’s web page here.