As the world marks World Refugee Day today June 20th, LinkmeUg caught up with 17 yr old Hindiyo Abdulkadir Mohammed a teenage Somali refugee living in Kampala, Uganda. Hindiyo left Somalia with her family when she was 8 years.
She is in Form 3 in one of the secondary schools in Kampala and after her father returned to Somalia, lives with her mother and siblings in Kisenyi, one of the slums in Kampala. We asked about her childhood and challenges in Uganda.
Hindiyo: As a child I was puzzled about having to leave my home so suddenly but later I was told that my family decided to flee when the Al Shabaab gave one of my elder brothers a gun and a card to join them.
Life in Uganda
Hindiyo: We arrived at a family friend’s house in Kampala where remained in doors for a month. I didn’t go to school for a year.
Back then, people around us used to call us Al Shabaab and even when we would go to the market, they would harass us by checking our veils saying they were checking for bombs.
Do you still experience discrimination?
Hindiyo: When one Somali makes a mistake, we are all insulted; our neighbors tell us to go back to Somalia. Today it’s not as bad but people still call me ‘musomali’ meaning ‘you Somali.’ I hate it, don’t tag me ‘Somali refugee’, I have a name – Hindiyo.
Life as a teenage refugee
Hindiyo: I don’t feel like I belong here, I want to go back home; I have no space to breath. When we go back, I will build my country through fashion. There are many things I would like to have but my mother has 7 children so I have learnt to be content with what she can provide from her shop.
My happiest days include EID celebrations and the Somali Independence day 1st July when I get to meet other Somalis.
Message to youth
Hindiyo: No one wants to be a refugee, please Understand and treat us well; We are all African,
Celebrations to mark the 2017 World Refugee Day in Uganda will be celebrated today 20th June at Nsambya Grounds after a walk from Inter-AID offices opposite the American Embassy.
Uganda Theme: Uganda Stands with Refugees.
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