Image courtesy of Associated Press

Nearing the end of your teenage years is usually a cause for celebration, our defiant teenage years have (hopefully) come to pass, high school graduation has become a distant memory and we are faced with decisions and new expectations that were once, rather simplistic.

Malala Yousafzai chose to spend her 19th birthday at the world’s largest refugee camp. During her time in the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya, Yousafzai voiced her concern that Kenya’s plans to close the camp could result in worsening circumstances for those residing in the camp.

The Kenyan Government has announced decisions to close the Dadaab refugee camp by the conclusion of this year, claiming the situation has become a security liability.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Yousafzai reaffirmed her commitment to highlighting the plight of refugees and said returning any of the 300, 000 refugees to Somalia should be voluntary.

“They should not be forced to move,” the advocate for girls’ education said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The complex opened in 1991, as a temporary shelter for those seeking refuge from civil war. Due to prolonged unrest and violence, the camp has become a virtual city.

Kenyan’s interior minister spokesman, Mwenda Njoka, has denied allegations that Kenya would be ‘dumping’ the refugees back in Somali and has taken measures to assure humane resettlement on 10,000 acres north of Kismayo.

“I am here to speak for my unheard sisters of Somalia striving for education every day,”
Malala arrived at the camp on her birthday to draw attention to the refugee crisis and highlight the detriment of neglecting female education.

Words by Lucy Davidson

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