Red Cross announces author and former refugee Abdi Aden as our newest Ambassador
Tuesday October 20, 2015
"I feel Australian, I am Australian. I've been here more than I've been in Somalia" - Abdi Aden
Australian Red Cross is proud to announce the appointment of Abdi Aden as our newest Ambassador.
Abdi 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 Aden.
"I didn't have a proper home for 12 months, I couldn't speak the language, and I was worried that I wouldn't get a visa and might be returned back to Somalia. That was my biggest fear.
"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," said Abdi Aden.
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. After 100 years of supporting vulnerable people who've come to Australia in search of safety, Red Cross is well placed to discuss the realities faced by asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
"I'm proud to welcome Abdi Aden as a Red Cross Ambassador. He is a tremendous advocate for our work supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the community," said Australian Red Cross CEO Jennifer Williams.
"Abdi's 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," said Ms Williams.