“There is no sound of a gun here – I have friends at school and teachers who mentor us”

Sharma Mohamed
Sharma Mohamed is a 14-year-old Somali refugee (Faith Ocharo)

Barriers to education, Education Cannot Wait, Education in emergencies, Girls' education, Refugees and internally displaced people, Right to education, Teachers and learning

Dadaab is a complex of refugee camps in eastern Kenya which hosts almost 250,000 people. Like any city, it has schools, hospitals and transport systems. Most of the refugees living there are from nearby Somalia – but there are also people from other countries including Ethiopia, South Sudan and Rwanda.

In a special series of reports from Dadaab this week, we look at life for children living in the camp – which is run by the United Nations refugees agency UNHCR – and talk to a head teacher and young people aged from seven to 16.

My name is Sharma Mohamed. I am 14 years old and I am in class five. My favourite subject is science and when I grow up I want to be a doctor. 

I am a Somali refugee staying in Kenya with my relatives. My parents stay in Somalia. 

I have been in this school from class one but last year when the Kenyan government was planning to relocate us I went to be with my parents in Somalia.

In Somalia the education system was bad. There were no teachers to teach us in school and there was no focus.

The school in Somalia was not safe and every day we were worried about our safety. I did not like it there because I could not interact freely with my friends due to fear.

The government of Somalia should change and bring peace in order for young children like me to get a decent education in my country.

I had to come back to Kenya because my parents wanted to marry me off and I did not agree with it. I don’t want to go back to Somalia because Kenya is my home and here I can study and play with my friends in peace. 

There is no sound of a gun here – I can only here sounds of birds singing and I love the fact that we have many communities here in the school that we play with and teachers who mentor and teach us.

My life in the refugee camp section S is good because I have friends. We go to school together, do assignments together and play together in the evening after school. 

I love living here because I have my relatives and I appreciate every little thing that we have because it’s the best that can be offered.

In my school I get the best education because the teachers come to class to teach us and also they advise us on cleanliness and other activities which I think I benefit from.

However, I would like to visit my country in future once I am a doctor to change the lives of people in my country and educate the families on the importance of education. 

It is sad that many girls in Somalia around my age are married off and I wish to change that given an opportunity. 

The government in my country should empower young girls to go to school and create awareness of the reason why educating a girl child is educating a nation.

I would like to inform every girl out there in Somalia: if they get a chance to learn to do it with all their heart. Because the next president is either me or her, so we have to work in order to bring peace in our country Somalia.

Read other Voices articles by Dadaab refugees

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