Somali Refugee Who Spent 23 Years at Daadab Wins UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award

A refugee who lived in the Daadab Camp for 23 years in the 1990s has won the prestigious United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award.

Abdullahi Mire lived in Daadab after fleeing from Qoryooley in the Shebelle region in Somalia after a civil war broke out.

Mire was awarded for his kind gesture of availing 100,000 books to his fellow refugees who were languishing in refugee camps in Kenya.

“He has shown great resourcefulness and tenacity in strengthening the quality of refugee education,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.

The Daadab Refugee Camp in Kenya



The prestigious award was won last year by the former federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

The man who stayed in Daadab during most of his childhood stayed in a deplorable place with thousands of other refugees who are mostly from Somalia.

The camp’s hardships did not bar him from attending school with both his elementary and secondary school attended while at the camp.

Abdullahi later pursued higher education and graduated with a degree in Public Relations and Journalism from Kenyatta University.

“After a lot of hurdles and challenges with the help and encouragement of my mother, I eventually went on to graduate with a Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations in 2013 from Kenya’s Kenyatta University, to become a voice for my vulnerable population,” Mire said.

After acquiring his degree, he went on to work with the United Nations (UN) after which he started his nonprofit.

In 2018, Abdullahi started an organisation called  Refugee Youth Education Hub that focuses on refugee education and youth development.

After relocating to Norway and then back to Daadab, he stated that his encounter with a young woman who was learning about medicine inspired him to start sending books to the refugees,

“During one of my regular visits back to the camp, I was approached by a young stranger refugee girl, requesting me if I could send a medical book from Nairobi,” Mire said. “She told me about 20 girls normally shared one biology book.”

”That inspired me to use social media for a book collection and donation campaign till we reached 100,000 books,” he stated.

The Daadab Refugee Camp in Kenya



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