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Gender and Social Inclusion

Voices of Courage Honoree Dabaho Hassan Maow: Acceptance Speech

Dahabo's Acceptance Speech:

Thank you Deo .

I am honored to get this award from the Women's Refugee Commission. I am so happy to be here today.

You have seen the story of my life. I escaped Somalia after losing my leg. I became a refugee in Kenya. I went to two camps that did not welcome me. It was hard for a young girl, with one leg, to stand in line for food. It was hard to walk a long way to get water.

All I wanted was a safe place to sleep, food to eat and
water to drink. Then I found Heshima Kenya in Nairobi. Heshima Kenya helps young orphan refugees. They gave me food and water. They gave me shelter. My life began again.

I had a family for the first time. I went to school and learned to sew and do tie and dye. I began the Maisha Collective, where I taught other girls. Today there are 25 girls in Kenya who use my designs.

I live in Minneapolis now. We sell our bags in Chicago. I go there two times a year for a fashion show. My scarves are sold around the world.

Now I have a husband. Soon I will have a baby. I have a home. I have a new life.

I want to thank the Women's Refugee Commission for this award.

This award is for my first family, Heshima Kenya. They made me the woman I am today. My dream is a world of goodness and courage.

We are disabled. But we are determined.

May God bless us all.

Thank you.

Gender and Social Inclusion