Mahamoud loves to meet people. And people are quickly taken in by his smile and enthusiasm. It’s a skill he puts to good use — spreading an important message throughout Ethiopia’s Buramino refugee camp, where he lives with his mother and six brothers and sisters.
As part of a team, Mahamoud mobilizes his community. “We go door to door, with a megaphone, sending messages about education. We talk to parents. We tell them that the key to life is to be educated.”
"We tell them that the key to life is to be educated."
Mahamoud is the perfect example of the power of USA for UNHCR’s donors and their generosity. In 2013, when Mahamoud was just eight-years-old, he fled with his family to escape violence and drought in Somalia. Like many refugee children, he never had the chance to go to school or learn to read. Despite this disadvantage, he was — and remains — determined. “Before I came, I was illiterate. Now I have education and I like to learn more,” he says with a proud smile.
Thanks to donor support, UNHCR designs and implements programs to help refugee children and youth like Mahamoud make up for gaps in their education. In these accelerated learning environments, they have the opportunity to catch up with their peers and enroll in regular classes.
Mahamoud wakes up every morning, eager to don his green uniform and race through the dusty streets of Buramino to get to school. With nearly 500 fellow students, he studies English, Somali, science and math.
But Mahamoud’s day doesn’t end after his finishes his homework.
Wise beyond his years, this 12-year-old recognizes that education is an essential tool that refugees need to rebuild their lives. Mahamoud has dreams to use that message for an even greater purpose: “When I finish my education, I want to become president of my country. I want to go back to the land where I came from, Somalia. I will open health facilities, hospitals and schools that are free of charge to everybody.”
With USA for UNHCR donors by his side, Mahamoud undoubtedly will be on the campaign trail one day!
Here’s how you can help …
Because of limited funding, only 50 percent of school-age refugees are receiving an education. You can close that gap with monthly gifts to USA for UNHCR. With your steady support, UNHCR will build more classrooms, hire and train more teachers and make sure that more students have school supplies and uniforms. Help the next Mahamoud dream of a bright future. Become USA for UNHCR’s newest monthly donor today.
Learn more about how the UN Refugee Agency is supporting education for refugees around the world: