A charity has raised over £16,000 to support a teenage refugee who was blinded after a stranger threw acid in his face as he walked to college in Thornton Heath.
The Da’aro Youth Project has set up a JustGiving page to help the victim deal with life-changing injuries caused by the horrendous attack on Monday December 7.
The 19-year-old and his friend, aged 25 were attacked at 8.10am as they walked on Thornton Road near to the junction with Gonville Road (pictured). They were approached by a stranger who threw a cup of corrosive liquid over them both before running away.
The community-led refugee youth organisation based in south London supports young asylum seekers and refugees from the Horn of Africa and has worked with the victim.
The charity says in its JustGiving appeal: “He is a refugee living in the UK alone and without any family to care for him. He’s such a wonderful, upbeat and kind person, we want to give back to him. His injuries are life-changing and most likely permanent.
“We want to try and raise some money because we think that there will be a lot of things that he will need to be able to adapt to his current situation, as there will be costs that come from his disability. All of the funds we raise will go directly to the young person who has been attacked.
The initial goal of £5,000 was reached within less than a 24 hours and the new £10,000 target was quickly reached as hundreds of people contributed support for the victim’s plight. The latest target of £20,000 has so far hit £16,924.
Da’aro Youth Project was established in 2018 by members of the Eritrean community in London in response to the deaths of a number of teenage Eritreans by suicide. Eritreans were the largest nationality group of unaccompanied minors to arrive in the UK in 2017 and 2018.
Deputy leader of the council Stuart King, who is the ward councillor for West Thornton where the attack happened described it as an ‘absolutely despicable and cowardly act ’ and urged anyone with information to contact the police.
No CCTV has been identified and at this stage the identity of the attacker and the motive behind the incident remain unknown. Police want to speak to the man pictured in connection with the attack.
The suspect is described as a white or Asian man in his 30’s with a slim build. At the time of the attack he was wearing a blue medical mask, a long black jacket with the hood up, black trousers and shoes.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC quoting CAD1273/07DEC20.
Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers, 100 per cent anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers_uk.org.