Nadia Nadim shines a ray of hope to refugees in KenyaBorn in Afghanistan, Nadia Nadim came to Denmark at the age of 12 as a refugee. Despite all she experienced, she never gave up on her aspirations and ambitions of becoming a footballer. She has risen up the ranks to become a celebrated footballer currently playing for the Danish national team and Paris Saint-Germain F.C. Her love for the game was evident as she interacted with the Kakuma Starlets and Super Girls teams in Kakuma Refugee Camp, during her inaugural visit to this camp in May 2019.
The camp is located in North Western Kenya is home to over 185,000 refugees. Sport, she says is an obvious way to help children with a refugee background quickly become part of the society. Her attributes and passion to help refugees all over the world influenced DRC to appoint her as the brand ambassador, to be a role model and inspire other refugee children to follow their dreams.
“A team is all about getting the most out of everyone. You need everybody if you want to win. No matter what their skin colour, background or faith is,” says Nadia Nadim.
During her visit to Kenya in May, Nadia interacted with girls, women, boys and men who have fled their own countries to find refuge in Kenya. Currently, Kenya is hosting 473,971 refugees and asylum seekers who have gone through devastating experiences including violence, exploitation, loss of loved ones, and loss of their homes and livelihoods owing to conflict and disasters. Having fled a war torn country herself and lived in an asylum centre on the outskirts of Aalborg in Denmark, Nadia understands exactly what refugees need, and how they feel. She hopes her story can give other children on the run hope and belief.
“It is great to be an ambassador for DRC, this has given me the opportunity to give back, give hope and make a difference in the lives of refugee children and young people. I hope that they will be inspired and even dare to make it to the top” says Nadia Nadim.
In Nairobi, Nadia visited the Karen Art Centre where DRC, in partnership with social enterprise BawaHope, work to empower refugees through livelihoods programmes. With skills acquired through training, DRC aims for refugees to venture into professional and vocational livelihoods to increase their income and self-reliance. During the visit, she interacted with various groups of talented young women and men that are making use of their abilities and skills to create beautiful artistic pieces that they eventually sell to make a living. They shared with Nadia their hopes and dreams for the future, one that is filled with ambitions as they strongly desire to rise above their circumstances.
In Kakuma, Nadia interacted with young women got an opportunity to play the game she loves with the Kakuma Super Girls football team against the Kakuma Starlets - young ambitious girls passionate about football. Nadia took the time to speak with the girls on her experiences as a refugee with a love of the game, inspiring them to pursue their dreams.
In her new role as DRC’s Goodwill Ambassador, Nadia will use her global platform to raise awareness on issues affecting young vulnerable refugees while inspiring them to pursue their dreams through her story. Making education available and lending a helping hand to ease the traumatized life they left behind are crucial prerequisites to save an entire next generation of resourceful citizens.