Nur Abdi, LSG staff member and former refugee, was recently selected to participate in Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s 2015 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy! Each year, this Academy brings together migrant and refugee leaders to share experiences, connect with each other, and hone skills to co-advocate on issues of importance to both communities.
In 2008, Nur and his sister fled violence and instability in their home country of Somalia. Together, they traveled to India where they lived as refugees. To support himself and his sister, Nur accepted a job with an international organization that operated income generation programs for refugees. Refugees received training in producing items like plates, teacups, and paper that could then be sold for an income. Nur assumed a leadership role with the organization in quality control and program monitoring.
In 2013, after five years in India, Nur was resettled in Atlanta through Lutheran Services of Georgia. He immediately began using his language skills to interpret for other refugees and LSG staff during cultural orientation and the Match Grant program. Within two months, Nur found a job at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Yet Nur’s journey with LSG wasn’t finished. His experiences as a refugee inspired him to seek out opportunities to continue serving refugee populations. In July of 2014, Nur accepted a part-time position as an Administrative Assistant for LSG’s Refugee and Immigration Services department. Three months later, he was promoted to his current position as a full-time Reception and Placement Case Manager.
Nur is excited to attend this year’s Refugee Leadership Academy. “I am very passionate to help refugees and other migrants and I want to be a good role model for others,” he said. “Participating in the 2015 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy will be an honor. It will teach me the tools I need in order to continue to advocate for migrants and refugees. I will share my story and the story of other refugees, both those that are here in the United States and those are overseas.”
The 2015 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy will be held in Baltimore and Washington D.C. on June 16 through 18. Watch our blog and Crossing Oceans to read Nur’s reflections on his experience after he returns.