My name is Ikram Yuusuf Hirsi an MP of Somalia, and I am a proud alumnus of Clarke International University (CIU). I joined CIU (formerly International Health Sciences University) in 2010 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Public Health which I successfully completed in 2013.
CIU shaped my future through the training I received as a student both academically and personally. After graduating, I worked with Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU), then later I moved to Nairobi where I worked with the American Refugee Committee. I then founded Public Health Ambassadors of Somalia.
After seeing that women in Somalia don't have a voice in the government setting especially the higher offices, I decided to run for office and change the wrong perception of the elders by becoming the first young Somali lady to be elected in the Lower Parliamentarian office.
As a way of upholding the legacy of making a difference in society, I have been advocating for job creation for the youth and women in my country. I am also working with UN women to end the teenage pregnancy, early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. We are also working towards improving sanitation, and advocacy for women and youth empowerment.
My message to all the alumni and students of Clarke International University is: never be afraid to face your fears, and, get out of your comfort zone. Always chase your dreams and never look back. You can be whoever you desire to be. Don’t seize holding onto what you believe in. As an International Student from Somalia, I faced lots of challenges during my study period the major one being the language barrier, but that did not stop me from achieving my goals. Some of the aspects that have enabled me to get this far are being fearless and bold.
I am truly grateful to ClU for the knowledge and skills I gained during my stay as a student., The education I received inspired me to make a difference in my own community.