This week, as the French government is closing down the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais, refugees are in the headlines again. And while nobody should need a reminder that refugees have just as much potential and deserve just as many opportunities as the rest of us… the amazing story of Fadumo Dayib is really driving the point home.
Dayib and her family fled Somalia in the 1980s, during the Civil War. Despite still being considered one of the five most dangerous countries in the world for women, Dayib has returned to her homeland in a bid to be the first female President of Somalia.
At the moment, another woman is busy dominating headlines in her run for President (#imwithher) but that doesn’t make Dayib’s run any less important.
Aged 14, Dayib and her family fled to Finland, the home of fjords and raw fish and totally kick ass girls. It was here that she finally learnt to read and write and develop a passion for education. She went on to complete to Masters – one was on a scholarship to Harvard (casual). Dayib then spent a few years working with the United Nations, launching public health initiatives in developing countries around the world, and completing a PhD.
It was was her PhD study that inspired Dayib to go back to Somalia and be the first female candidate ever to run for President. Just like that.
Dayib told Mic, “…even though home is not a welcoming place, is not a peaceful place, we should do everything possible to make it so.”
— Fadumo Dayib (@fqdayib) September 20, 2016
Somalia has been gripped by numerous challenges over Fadumo’s lifetime; from vicious warlords to natural disasters.
Dayib is realistic about her odds of winning, she knows her campaign is a long shot. After all, she is the only woman and the only refugee running, and despite the country being pretty much run by gangs, she isn’t about to give in to corruption.
Whatever the outcome of the election, Fadumo Dayib is making history and standing up for what she believes in.
And for that, Fadumo, you’re our Shero.