Anyier’s Journey from Refugee to Social Entrepreneur

  • 08 June 2021
  • Sydney

After violence forced her family out of their home and to flee to Kenya in 1992, Anyier spent the first 10 years of her life in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp.

All of 24 years old, she is now the current chair of the Australian National Committee on Refugee Women. A leader, role model, and women’s rights advocate who seeks not only to improve her own life but also the lives of women in other minority groups, Anyier works to promote peaceful co-existence between resettled refugees and Australians.

Overcrowded schools, the lack of study resources, and limited access to education are the realities of schooling in refugee camps. So once Anyier got her visa to resettle in Australia, she set out to study for the first of her three degrees.

“I quickly realised that education was key to my future.” – Anyier Yuol

Having faced adversity from a young age and fighting against the odds while still keeping up a positive outlook is testament to Anyier’s character.

To this day, Anyier works tirelessly to help women in minority groups to bridge the gap by learning new skills and accessing job opportunities that are otherwise hard to come by.

“If we can’t provide quality education to all refugees, how can we equip them to be agents of change or help them rebuild their home countries?” – Anyier Yuol

Her social enterprise, the Miss Sahara national beauty pageant, celebrates women of African heritage. A fashion model herself, Anyier launched the pageant with the purpose of helping women to build on their leadership skills and self-confidence, while raising awareness of the diversity of African cultures. One such winner was Miss Sahara 2018, Eritrean athlete and football fanatic Helina Musgun. Today, Helina works towards empowering other women and is a regular participant of women’s empowerment conferences in Sydney.

When Anyier approached Thrive, she knew exactly what she wanted to achieve. Thrive was able to provide Anyier with the mentorship and guidance to realise her dream of starting her own modelling agency. Anyier Model Management represents models from different backgrounds and celebrates the diversity of minority groups. By looking beyond conventional standards of beauty and adopting an all-inclusive approach, Anyier has forged a path towards a global movement that will impact the lives of women from all walks of life.


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