Youth worker, author and former refugee
Australian Red Cross Ambassador
Abdi Aden fled war torn Somalia as a teenager, unable to first return to his home and find his family, and made a perilous solo journey via Kenya and Romania to arrive in Australia and seek asylum at 17 years of age. Today Abdi is raising a family in Melbourne and giving back to his community, and has written an uplifting and inspiring book about his survival as a refugee, Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man.
"I left Somalia not by choice, I just had to flee. I couldn't find my family so I followed a group of people and we started walking towards Kenya. Two years later, after leaving Mogadishu and living in a refugee camp in Romania, I reached Australia," says Abdi.
"Red Cross supported me while I was awaiting my visa, then helped me find my mother and sponsor her to come to Australia, so I'm honoured to be able to give back to Red Cross as an Ambassador."
Abdi supports the Red Cross In Search of Safety program in Melbourne, which visits schools to talk with students about what it means to seek asylum in Australia. His story of fleeing war torn Somalia and his journey to seek safety in Australia is characteristic of the people we assist each day, and it's fortunate that he shares his story to help foster tolerance and understanding in our community.
See full interview transcript »
Read an excerpt of Abdi Aden's book, Shining: Story of a Lucky Man »
Learn more about Red Cross' work and get the facts about asylum seekers and refugees »