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Refugee Woman of 2011: Refugee integration has improved

Refugee Woman of the Year, Saido Mohamed, says that Finland is constantly making improvements in refugee integration. As Finland celebrates World Refugee Day, she asks for understanding for refugees.

Vuoden pakolaisnainen 2011, Saido Mohamed
Image: Eva-Liisa Orupöld

However Mohamed notes that underage refugees’ need for greater support gets forgotten easily.

“There are people among them who have experienced war, torture and rape, and it’s important that help is given to young people who have gone through trauma,” she says.

Mohamed herself came to Finland from Somalia in 1992. She has now spent over half of her life in Finland.

“I live in both cultures. To me, they are not contradictory.”

Forced to flee

Mohamed hopes that people will remember: refugees left their home countries because they had to.

“They didn’t leave voluntarily—and now they want to build their own life here, live in peace, study and work,” Mohamed emphasises.

Mohamed has long engaged in voluntary work on improving the position of women and girls in society. She is especially interested in working with immigrants and has worked with youth for over 10 years.

“It’s important for me that young people can establish their own identity and succeed in this society,” she says.

World Refugee Day is celebrated on Monday, June 20.

Saido Mohammed: Refugee Woman of the Year

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