A Bradford woman who won the Yorkshire Refugee of the Year award is setting her sights on even greater achievements in 2012.

Next year, Beatrice Botomani, who fled to the UK from Malawi in 2004 with her two children, will qualify as a teacher fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

She hopes to work in the adult learning sector once her studies at Bradford College finish.

Miss Botomani has already helped improve the lives of others by campaigning for the rights of women and child refugees in detention.

She was spurred on after her own family’s experience at Yarls Wood Immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire, where her children were so traumatised they wrote a letter to MPs.

Since coming to Bradford she has worked as a volunteer for the Women’s Forum, as a Trustee for Forster Community College and with BCB community radio station.

Earlier this year, Miss Botomani co-ordinated a project to help train asylum seekers and refugees to use radio as a platform for sharing their experiences.

They learned how to compile radio programmes, conduct interviews and discussions and record outside broadcasts as part of a Bradford Refugees and Asylum Seekers (BRASS) scheme.

Now Miss Botomani is seeking more funding so the project can be repeated this year.

With the Yorkshire Refugee of the Year award behind her, she says she feels more empowered than ever before.

“I feel so very supported, not just here in Bradford but nationally. It was people from all over who voted for me for the award. There are people everywhere who appreciate my efforts and that’s good to know,” she said.

Her aims for 2012 also include influencing more positive changes in society, including beating gender discrimination and encouraging more equality between the sexes.