Somali-born champion of refugee education wins top UNHCR award

Abdullahi Mire grew up in the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in northeastern Kenya with its population today of more than 240,000 registered refugees, mostly from Somalia.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) coordinates operations there together with partners, relying also on the support of the Kenyan Government and host communities.
The majority of the population, around 56 per cent according to 2020 figures, are children.
At that point there were over 60,000 students enrolled up to secondary school level, but despite that, the demand for teachers, supplies and classroom space, has long outstripped supply, leading to poor educational outcomes.
Of those managing to complete secondary school only a small number have been able to carry on into tertiary education.
Mr. Mire spent 23 years living in the Dadaab complex himself, from the early 1990s, and eventually went on to graduate with a diploma in journalism and public relations in 2013 from Kenya’s Kenyatta University.
After working for the UN migration agency IOM, in Somalia, specialising in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants, he realised that without being literate, many were being brainwashed and radicalized.

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