“I think Canada is a good country, where multiculturalism is practiced, where so many people are there together in peace.”
Nadifo is a 20-year-old Somali refugee who has spent her whole life in Kenya. She was born in 1995 in a refugee camp near Mombasa, Kenya. Her parents fled from Somalia in 1992 at the height of the civil war. She has never been to Somalia and never left Kenya. When she was a year old, in 1996, she and her family were transferred to Hagadera refugee camp, one of the many sections of Dadaab Refugee Camp in northeastern Kenya, near the border with Somalia.
Despite the difficult circumstances of her upbringing, Nadifo exceled at school, completing both primary and secondary education with very strong results. Due to this she has been awarded a refugee scholarship to study in Canada, and is in the process of leaving Kenya for Vancouver where she will enroll in university. She hopes to pursue medicine and wants to become a doctor.
It has not been easy to get where she is. Nadifo says there are challenges of the environment and security, as well as resources while growing up in a refugee camp.
“Being a refugee is not something that is simple. The environment is so harsh there. But I have just been patient and tolerant so one day I can go out of the camp and help my parents and siblings.”
Nadifo received assistance from humanitarian agencies in Dadaab, but she said it was not enough. It was a daily struggle to get pens, books, and solar lamps so she could study. Nadifo’s perseverance with her education is paying off. She has the opportunity to continue her studies and better her life and that of her family.
For now she intends to reside in Canada permanently, but she will definitely come back to visit her family.
“I think Canada is a good country, where multiculturalism is practiced, where so many people are there together in peace. I want to pursue my education so I can have a bright future.”