Ilhan Omar spent a good portion of her childhood living in a refugee camp in Kenya. When she was 14 years old, she had the opportunity to move to the United States and later, receive a college education.
On November 6, 2018, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali American elected to the United States Congress, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, the first Muslim refugee to be elected to the House of Representatives, and the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota.
What does this have to do with Action Two Africa? While Ilhan was never a part of any of our programs during her time in Kenya, she is a model of just how incredible the achievements of young, educated women can be. With her recent election, she has shown us, and the thousands of young women living in poverty in Kenya, that there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome, no achievement that can’t be won, no dream that can’t be realized by young women in Kenya.
Ilhan is now over 8,000 miles away from the refugee camp where she lived in Kenya, but 8,000 miles isn’t a distance that her influence and inspiration can’t reach across, and remind us that, if given the right opportunities, young women everywhere, no matter their background, are capable of great things.