I often think about Namda, a refugee teen I met when I traveled to Ethiopia. She was an incredible force with an inspiring story and an unquenched passion for learning. Namda fled Somalia in 2008, when she was just 9 years old, and still lives in a refugee camp in Ethiopia run by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
But Namda didn’t want her story to end there. Unlike most girls living as refugees, Namda was fortunate to have access to primary and secondary school. She worked hard and was able to rise to the top of her class over the years.
At the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, we believe that all girls, girls just like Namda, deserve an education. Please join us in our fight for all girls to have access to an education.
Join Girl Up to tell U.S. leaders to support education for girls in vulnerable settings.
“Since I am educated and enrolled in school, I find it easier to put everything behind me and to not think about what happened in Somalia,” she said.
She is one of six children who faced the brutalities of war; her father was killed in the fighting and her eldest sister was violently raped. Namda said, “My mother and my older sister could not go to school. My mother never got an education like me. Because she didn’t get to go to school, she thinks it is important that I go – and other girls too – so we can compete with boys.”
Namda said, “We can change our lives if we learn skills – but without learning, we are in the dark. Our country has no resources, so I want to be an economist to help rebuild my community.”
Stand up with Girl Up today and call on the U.S. government to support Namda, to support the 65 million displaced people around the world, and to support all the girls who want to be in school but aren’t.
We believe in the power of educating girls. Do you?
To join Girl Up in pushing for education for girls in vulnerable settings, click here.