Somalian journalist and former refugee Abdullahi Mire wins Nansen Refugee Award

The United Nations Refugee Agency gave this year's Nansen Refugee Award to Somalian journalist Abdullahi Mire.

The United Nations Refugee Agency gave this year’s Nansen Refugee Award to Somalian journalist Abdullahi Mire. Mire supports Kenyan refugee kids’ right of education by donating them books.

Growing up in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Mire quickly grasped that education offered a way out of the challenges of camp life.

“I was a curious child. I was eager to learn how to read the alphabet,” he recalls.

After graduating from university, he did not turn his back on other young refugees in the camp with their own hopes and potential. He set up the Refugee Youth Education Hub (RYEH), a refugee-led organization that supports refugee students with books and other learning materials.

RYEH has since supplied over 100,000 books donated by education charities and former Dadaab refugees living in the diaspora to support schools in the camp and to establish three public libraries.

The organization also advocates for the socio-economic inclusion of refugees in Kenya and supports refugee women in the camp to access livelihoods and job opportunities.

In recognition of his innovative campaign to champion refugee education in Kenya, Mire has been selected as the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award’s 2023 Global Laureate. Given annually, the prestigious award honours those who have gone above and beyond to help forcibly displaced or stateless people.

“I never thought I would achieve this milestone,” Mire says. “I dedicate this award to every displaced child who, like me, was forced to flee their home. This is to give them hope and a reason to keep dreaming.”

Mire started a drive to collect books for schools in the camp. Using social media and mobilizing his networks, including with members of the Somali diaspora, he managed to collect more than 20,000 books in the campaign’s first phase.
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