RISING FROM A REFUGEE CAMP TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD – HUSSEIN ABDI ABDULLAHI, A PHILANTHROPIST, AND HUMAN RIGHTS’ ACTIVIST
Jun 13, 2020 01:39
The refugee crisis around the world is a severe issue. More than 4 million in Africa alone have been forcibly displaced from their homes. No matter how well-equipped these camps are, they can never offer a high-quality life. However, for people like Hussein Abdi Abdullahi, these refugee camps serve as the only glimmer of hope. Hussein, who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia on January 1, 1991, in a Nomadic family, had to spend his childhood in these camps.
Life in these camps is tough, and every day is a new challenge for families and individuals who stay here. Not only do they have to suffer financially, but they also go through severe mental stress. Hussein and his family had to spend much of their lifetime in they had to face similar challenges.
When civil war broke out in Somalia, Hussein was just an infant. His father decided it best to abandon their hometown and migrated to Kenya for survival with his family. They finally found refuge at the Dadaab Refugee Camps in Garissa County, Kenya. The refugee camps in Kenya were what Hussein saw when he began to understand things.
SPENDING THE CHILDHOOD AT A REFUGEE CAMP
No one in this world even thinks about what life is for children who spend their entire childhoods in refugee camps. Even though these places offer refuge from the uncertain and violent conditions in their hometown, but it brings a whole new set of challenges for the people.
For Hussein, his family, and other refugees, the semi-arid and hot desert climate district brought hope of a better life, but they all were under severe mental stress. The second eldest son of a large family, Hussein, attended Getune Primary School in Garissa. He studied there till fifth grade and then transferred to El-Nino Primary School in Dagahaley.
The young boy had to live in these camps for more than a decade. However, things began to change when he, along with his family, moved to the United States as refugees. The seventeen years of his life in a refugee camp helped in developing a passion and determination in Hussein to make lives better for other Africans surviving through a situation he himself had experienced.
MOVING TO THE UNITED STATES AND BUILDING A STABLE FUTURE
The move to the United States proved beneficial for Hussein and his family. The 17-year-old Hussein was determined to establish a stable future for himself so that he could help his fellow African brothers improve their lives.
After moving to Washington, Hussein started attending the Renton High School, where he became part of RHS Boys Varsity Soccer. He graduated from high school in 2011. Since then, he began working on the concept of his non-profit organization that could help people living in East African countries live a better life.
MAKING HIS DREAM A REALITY
Hussein’s idea was to build a non-profit and non-governmental organization that could help poor communities by building schools, improving hygiene and sanitation, and providing better healthcare services.
The purpose is to provide humanitarian and social services in the Horn of Africa region in countries including Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
The determined Hussein worked on his concept for more than five years, and together with, Kristine Lynch founded the International Development & Humanitarian Organization (IDHO) on October 22, 2016. It was a dream come true for Hussein as making this world a better place for all was his passion since he was just a kid.
The organizational design of IDHO was to provide sustainable livelihoods intervention opportunities to support the most vulnerable and susceptible communities in both rural and urban areas. Hussein aims to achieve his goals and purpose by implementing equal access to quality education, adequate healthcare, pure and potable water and sanitation. With IDHO, Hussein aims to introduce the concept of sustainable community development in areas that lack even the basic commodities.
TAKING HIS EFFORTS A STEP FURTHER
While he is working on his non-profit organization, Hussein is actively working as a humanitarian. He wants to make this world a better place, and he is grabbing every opportunity he gets to achieve his goal. Hussein has more than eight years of experience in community advocacy and laying the foundations for peace-building initiatives. He is a well-known individual in the humanitarian sector and an advocate of educating females. The focus of his efforts has always been the welfare and wellbeing of all children in Africa and the empowerment of young girls through education and peace.
Hussein is a firm believer that youth is the driving force for every community. It is due to this reason he works to empower youth and offer them better educational opportunities so that they can play their role in strengthening a weak community.
He became the Youth Ambassador for Skyway Solutions, a Community Development Association in Washington that works to provide youth and homeless the opportunity to grow. In addition to this, he has also worked with numerous community organizations in the greater King County area such as Somali Youth and Family Club for an after-school program.
The human rights’ activist, Hussein co-founded of the Ogaden Youth and Student Union (OYSU) in Washington State in 2013. It is an international youth organization that advocates for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden Region under Ethiopian occupation.
In May 2019, Hussein went back to Somali region to conduct an evaluation and assessments of the needs of humanitarian assistance. The community needs assessment took almost five months. His evaluation helped him understand the needs of the Somalian community, which he used to create the programs offered by IDHO.
The 29-year-old Hussein is currently studying International Relations and Diplomacy at American Public University (APU). In addition to this, he has completed several certifications from notable organizations including UNICEF. Hussein has training and certifications in community development, humanitarian actions, sustainable development, childhood and youth studies, child care, and many others. His strong portfolio helps him address the needs of struggling nations in East African parts.
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