A Somali-born Advocate for Refugee Education Receives a Top UNHCR Honour

CITATION: Image used for informative purpose only. Picture Credit: https://entermediadb.net

Growing up in the vast Dadaab refugee complex in northeastern Kenya, where over 240,000 registered refugees live today, primarily from Somalia, was Abdullahi Mire’s experience.

Along with its partners, the UNHCR manages operations in that region, with assistance from the Kenyan government and host communities.

Children make up the majority of the population—roughly 56%, based on 2020 statistics.

Even though there were more than 60,000 secondary school students enrolled at that time, there is still a shortage of teachers, materials, and classroom space, which has a negative impact on student achievement.

Only a small percentage of secondary school graduates have gone on to pursue postsecondary education.

After living in the Dadaab complex for 23 years, starting in the early 1990s, Mr. Mire eventually attended Kenyatta University and earned a diploma in journalism and public relations in 2013.

He became aware that many people were being brainwashed and radicalised because they were illiterate after working for the UN migration agency IOM in Somalia, where he specialised in the disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration of former combatants.

Because of his experiences, he founded the Refugee Youth Education Hub (RYEH) in 2018, which focuses on youth development and education for refugees.

“My goal is to bring about positive changes in the lives of refugee children and youth residing in Daadab,” he stated in 2020 to the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.

Education is the only means by which that is possible. His words, “These children’s or youths’ lives will be improved for good if you give them a quality education.” Education needs to be a top priority for societies to advance, especially those emerging from decades of conflict. If nothing else, I believe it to be the midwife of stability and peace.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi stated in a statement prior to the award announcement that Abdullahi Mire “is living proof that transformative ideas can spring from within displaced communities.”He has been incredibly resourceful and persistent in raising the standard of education for refugees.

Mr. Mire had relocated to Norway after growing up in the Dadaab camps, according to UNHCR, but “a yearning to serve his community drew him back.”

His education centre has increased learning opportunities for tens of thousands of displaced children and youth by opening three libraries in the camps that are stocked with donated books.

“It’s not just about me,” Mr. Mire, 36, declared. It’s for every volunteer I collaborate with. For the students in the schools, that is.

Read More: https://theeducationview.com/

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