Child Refugee Returns Home To Run For President Of Somalia

She knows her chances of winning are low, but she's laying the ground work to be president in the future.

Credit: Stephanie Mitchell

Credit: Stephanie Mitchell

Fadumo Dayib was a Somalian refugee who fled to Europe decades ago when she was just a child amidst the civil war that started in the 1980’s. The civil war continues today, although it has evolved greatly over time, and Dayib is determined to take the reins in the country and leads its citizens down a different path.

The 44-year-old activist is currently living in Finland with her four children, but her run for presidency means she has to leave them in order to promote her campaign. Though the corrupt government and ongoing fight between armed rebel forces mean that her life is at risk by challenging the status quo, she knows that this is a cause worth fighting for. She told The Sunday Times:

“I’m well aware of the danger, but when the day comes and you have the capability to do so, you must fight for democracy.”

She is running on a platform that consists of the fight for women’s rights, taking on the clan system, zero tolerance for corruption, telling neighboring countries to respect Somalia’s territorial integrity, and starting a dialogue with Al-Shabaab if the extremists lay down arms.

Though she plans to run a strong campaign, she has doubts about whether she could actually win the election. Dayib told the Guardian:

“Anyone who is competent and qualified … they are never going to win. If you are not corrupt you will not get into the system. I will never pay one cent to anyone so the likelihood of me winning is non-existent.”

Credit: Global Citizen

Credit: Global Citizen

However, she’s laying the ground work for her future run in 2020, as she is now well-known within Somalia and making a name for herself. As the country nears the end of their warring time, universal suffrage is said to be within sight and the 2020 election is to be the most democratic one they’ve had in decades.

Dayib is very passionate about making Somalia a better and safer place and told AP, “I have no doubts that I will be the president in Somalia and I’m willing to wait it out for the next 20 years if necessary.”

Considering her tumultuous past and recovery, she is certainly a force to be reckoned with. She was born the 12th child to her parents in Kenya, but after 11 of them died from preventable disease, they sought medical help in Somalia and stayed there until the civil war forced them to leave. Dayib studied to be a nurse, worked in United Nations refugee camps in Liberia, and eventually studied at Harvard to learn how best to help her home country. She has worked hard to make sure that her return to Somalia is not only successful, but that she will be met with respect for her determination and fair beliefs.

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