Women’s Refugee Commission honors CARE volunteer for courage, longtime service to Somali refugees

Women’s Refugee Commission honors CARE volunteer for courage, longtime service to Somali refugees

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Somali refugee Adey Ali Dahir receives 2015 Voices of Courage award for more than 20 years of work protecting the safety of women and girls in Kenya’s Dagahaley refugee camp.

NEW YORK (April 30, 2015) — New York City-based Women’s Refugee Commission will honor CARE volunteer Adey Ali Dahir (“Mama Adey”) during its 2015 Voices of Courage awards luncheon today in Manhattan, recognizing her longtime commitment to the safety of women and girl refugees.

Having grown up in Somalia, Mama Adey became a refugee herself in the early 1990s when the Somalian government collapsed and violence overtook her home country. She and thousands of other refugees fled to Kenya, settling in the Dagahaley refugee camp, one of the camps in the sprawling Dadaab complex, home today to more than 350,000 refugees.

"Mama Adey is a tireless champion for the safety of women and girls and her courage is proof of the resilience of people, even in the worst circumstances," said Sarah Costa, Executive Director for the Women's Refugee Commission, an organization dedicated to improving the lives and protecting the rights of women and girls displaced by conflict and crisis. "The women of the Dagahaley are fortunate to have such an advocate and we are pleased to honor her."

Mama Adey began her work with CARE when — determined to combat the high incidence of rape and female genital mutilation in Dagahaley — she mobilized a group of women to seek guidance from the global poverty-fighting organization on how to minimize violence against women and girls in the camp. For more than 20 years, she has helped safeguard the safety of those women and girls.

“Mama Adey exemplifies the courage, strength and resilience women and girls throughout the world possess every day,” said Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. “And her passion to serve under the most difficult circumstances only inspires CARE’s global efforts to serve and empower women and girls around the world. The entire CARE family congratulates Mama Adey. We’re proud of her service and grateful for her leadership.”

War disproportionately affects women and girls, who make up 80 percent of the world’s 50 million refugees. Female refugees regularly face rape, prostitution, exploitation, forced marriage, poverty, psychological trauma and violence, among other threats. CARE works in refugee camps around the world to equip survivors — boys and men included — with food and nutrition, sexual and gender-based violence prevention and counseling services, health care, clean water, good hygiene and basic education.

“I am proud to have helped protect the women and girls of Dagahaley,” said Mama Adey, who traveled from Kenya to accept the award. ”I’m honored to receive the Voices of Courage award and humbly accept it on behalf of those whose true courage inspires me today.”

Media Contacts

Nicole Harris, in Atlanta, nharris@care.org, 404-735-0871.

About CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE® is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 90 countries around the world and reached more than 72 million people through 880 poverty-fighting programs to improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunities, confront climate change and recover from disasters.


Adey Ali Dahir, affectionately known as Mama Adey, winner of Women's Refugee Commission's Voices of Courage award