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Former Child Refugee from Somalia Named as 2023’s Winner of Prestigious UNHCR Award

Abdullahi Mire, 36, was recognized for bringing 100,000 books to his compatriots languishing in sprawling camps in Kenya. “Last year, 2022, Angela Merkel, the former Federal Chancellor of Germany, won the award and today a young refugee from Dadaab. The sky is not the limit,” Mire told VOA Somalia. Speaking ahead of the award announcement, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi honored Mire with a statement that called him “a living proof that transformative ideas can spring from within displaced communities.” “He has shown great resourcefulness and tenacity in strengthening the quality of refugee education,” Grandi said. From war to refugee camp to award Mire was born in southern Somalia in 1987 and lived in Dadaab in the 1990s when his family fled from Qoryooley in the Lower Shabelle region due to Somalia’s civil war.