Meet Brownkey: The Voice Of Dadaab

Learn about Brownkey’s experience advocacy work in the world’s second largest refugee settlement

Brownkey Abdullahi / Akili Dada 2017

My name is Brownkey Abdullahi and I am an activist and blogger living in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Garissa county. I run a campaign against Gender Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation called Brownkey Organization based in the camp. In March 2016, I started a campaign against FGM in the camp. By utilizing social media, I use Facebook and my blog to discuss these subject matters as well as tackle other aspects that affect refugees.

Advancing the Rights of the Girl Child

The main topics that my project addresses include: advocating for children’s rights & health, advancing quality education for the girl child, maximising on affordable and clean energy and promoting sustainable development. By doing so, I regularly meet with community leaders who largely influence the public. I also make household visits in order to reiterate this messages to the entire community. These helps them understand the importance of these subject matters.

Malala Yousafzai (L) & Brownkey Abdullahi / July 2016

My project aims to counter negative cultural beliefs and promote the education of the girl child. Due to the frequent exploitation of the girl child, FGM prevails in the camp and the young girls end up missing school. I am very passionate about addressing these critical issues in my society and the nation at large.

Fostering Good Communal Relations

My objective is to foster conversations that will end all forms of discrimination against women and girls in my community, and cause a national and global ripple effect. Since carrying on this project at the community level, I have interacted with many people on the ground including religious leaders. I have formed good relations with people from diverse cultural activities. My ultimate goal is to rally an understanding society that supports young girls and women.

Another challenge that came to my attention was that young children are at a high risk of being exploited for labour and early marriage. Therefore, I included this issues as part of the purpose of my campaign. My aim is to create awareness about these social drawbacks and educate parents on the importance of sending their children to school.

I heard about Akili Dada through staff members who were carrying out mentorship sessions at the camp. I looked up the website and found that it contained informative material regarding the fellowship program. I was motivated to apply for the program as the skills I would obtain would be very constructive especially with managing my community project.

If money or time was not an issue, I would like to go to America to witness how they carry out an active dialogue to promote gender equity. There are many communities that promote the rights of women and young girls. They ensure that they are practised, preserved and protected.

Writing as Self Care

Reading and writing are my hobbies of choice. I write articles for my blog and read a lot in order to inform my writing. Ultimately, I would like to make positive changes in my community. I want to inspire the public that empowered women have the capacity to make substantial community and global change.

Fellows For Social Change is a primer series of African Women Leaders in the 2017 Akili Dada Fellowship. Visit Akili Dada’s blog for more eloquent reflective stories from young African Women leaders.