From Refugee Teen to Case Manager

As a young teen Abdullahi Abdullahi lived for 20 years in refugee camps after fleeing war-torn Somalia for Kenya. He now works as a case manager for Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services in Portland, ME.

During the years outside of his home country, he trained with United Nations High Commission for Refugees in conflict resolution and led trainings in schools and communities. He also worked for CARE International; improving sanitation systems in the camp and helping women make a living. An NGO in Kenya sponsored his education as he worked as a program manager on projects seeking to improve agricultural practices of farmers in southern Somalia.

In 2009 Catholic Charities resettled Abdullahi in Lewiston. Through determination and focus, he passed the GED, established other human service credentials and began working as a receptionist for Catholic Charities. Soon he began working as the survivors of torture case manager. Abdullahi brings his passion to succeed and desire to motivate others in his efforts to support fellow refugees find their way in a new country. He has continued his education and plans to organize youth outreach programs including soccer teams in the future.

ACF's Office of Refugee Resettlement provides grants to organizations like Catholic Charities of Maine, that support refugees resettling in the United States. Since 1975, Catholic Charities Maine Refugee and Immigration Services has been the primary provider of resettlement services to refugees in the state. Refugees in Maine have come from over 30 countries in: Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Republics, Middle East, Eastern Africa, South/Central America, Caribbean and Cuba. Current refugee populations coming to Maine are from Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Ethiopia, Burma, Iran and Iraq. Trends in refugee resettlement mirror the conflicts and tragedies that are happening worldwide and as such, Maine has most recently assisted in the resettlement of Eastern African and Middle Eastern refugees.

Learn more about the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

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