Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai visited the world’s largest refugee camp on her 19th birthday on Tuesday to draw attention to the global refugee crisis.
Her visit comes in wake of increasing pressure on Kenya’s Dadaab camp to close after a quarter-century, reported the Associated Press.
Malala, the 18-year-old schoolgirl from Swat, who was 14 when shot in the valley after her support for girls’ education angered Taliban militants, has been in contact with a group of girls in Dadaab since 2015 and was looking forward to meeting them and others, said her spokesperson Taylor Royle.
“I am here to speak for my unheard sisters of Somalia striving for education every day,” Malala said on Tuesday, explaining that on each birthday she chooses a region where girls’ education is neglected and needs attention.
Kenya says Dadaab camp, which hosts more than 300,000 mostly Somali refugees, will be closed next year because it has become a security liability. The camp is in eastern Kenya, near its border with Somalia.
The possibility that the camp will be closed brings yet more uncertainty to the refugees, who face the prospect of returning to a Somalia still plagued with conflict.
Kenya insists any returns will be voluntary, even as the international community has urged caution and warned against forceful evictions.