Photo credits: IOM/Muse Mohammed 2016
Abdi left his home in Mogadishu in 1992, when he was only 12 years old. He went to Kenya with his sister after his father died in the war and his mother chose to stay in Somalia.
Spending most of his life in Kenya, Abdi says he feels like more of a Kenyan than a Somali.
Abdi and his sister lived in Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. “We lived the normal refugee life,” Abdi says. “We often had to go to school with no shoes and barely one meal a day.”
In 2005, Abdi moved to Nairobi where he got to finish his schooling and earn a college degree in human resources with the support of a scholarship. However, after graduation he found it hard to find a job, particularly given his uncertain legal status.
He worked casual jobs and eventually opened a small shop selling vegetables and fruits. In 2014, he had to return to Dadaab but ended up finiding his way back to Nairobi.
After a while, unable to return to Somalia and finding it increasingly difficult to stay in Nairobi, Abdi applied and was granted resettlement assistance.
Abdi is now moving to Portland, Oregon, a world away from the dangers of Mogadishu. He has friends there and will get sponsored by a catholic charity when he arrives.
He is eager to start his new life, seeing many possibilities ahead of him, and has already started researching possible employers.