Once a Refugee Herself, Student Organizes Relief Mission to Somalia

March 22, 2022

In the midst of studying for finals last fall, second-year law student Samia Osman stumbled across some distressing news from her native Somalia. Nearly 6 million people faced a mammoth humanitarian crisis stemming from a confluence of factors, including drought and flooding brought on by climate change, as well as famine, conflict, and COVID-19. 
Osman immediately started researching the crisis, feeling compelled to help. She and her friends, Khadija Ali and Sumaya Abshir, formed Unity for Humanity—a project meant to raise money for and awareness of relief efforts in Somalia. They quickly raised more than $6,000 and partnered with the Humanitarian African Relief Organization (HARO) to transfer the funds for use in Somalia, where 260,000 people have died recently and 800,000 children are at risk of malnutrition.


 After weeks of fundraising, researching, and meeting with humanitarian groups in Minnesota, Osman flew to Somalia over the winter break to fact-find the root causes of the crisis and deliver some assistance. She spent 18 days traveling across the drought-stricken country to see conditions firsthand, meet with officials, and help distribute food, water, and other supplies to people in need.
The work rekindled memories of Osman’s experience as an 8-year-old refugee.
“I always say I’m a refugee, and it’s a point of pride for me because it means I’ve overcome so much to be where I am,” Osman says. “That’s why I wanted to help in some way. I couldn’t just donate and turn away. Not when I have been in their shoes.”

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Samia Osman with the Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs & Democratisation of the Puntland State Government in Somalia,  Mohamed Abdirahman Ahmed