Sofi Lundin (SE) "The “Iron Lady” from Somalia" - Helphoto 2023




The “Iron Lady” from Somalia
Kamilla Yussuf Abdi, aged 25, has worked as a Case Manager for Save the Children, a child protection services agency in the refugee camps of Somalia, a war torn and drought ridden country. 

During the 5 years that Kamilla has worked there, she has traveled around Baidoa identifying children needing protection and giving courage to young women to stand up for their rights. She has become an inspiration to many women and children.

“Girls are brought up not to say what they think.  Daughters are not given priority for education and many are married off at the early age of 13;  they must know that they have rights and their dignity.” says Kamilla.

She grew up with single mothers around her; her father died during the civil war and her mother became the sole breadwinner.  Kamilla was sent to an aunt in Kenya who supported 9 other children; growing up around these strong women shaped Kamilla into the tenacious and courageous person she is today.  In school, she became a mentor supporting other young girls and was soon nick-named, «Iron Lady».

After completing school Kamilla returned to her home country of Somalia with a mission – to help young girls fight for their rights. In her work to spread knowledge about children’s rights, she faces many challenges brought on by a hostile and violent environment; she has faced a number of threats to her life.

“I have been in a number of scary situations where my life has been in danger, but I have trust in the women I work with here. The community has always been there for me and defended me…I want girls to realize that there is hope, even if you are raised in a poor family without a father, she says.”  Kamilla.

Sofi Lundin is a Swedish independent photojournalist, based in Kampala, Uganda. Her journey as a photographer started in Mumbai (2007) when she was employed as a Staff Photographer, documenting community development across India. For the past six years, she has worked for various international media as well as Non Governmental Organizations covering East Africa. Sofi is committed to documenting stories from communities that are usually invisible in media and to enhance voices of people that are rarely heard. In 2017 she was named “Rising Star” by Adobe. 

Sofi Lundin (SE) "The “Iron Lady” from Somalia" - Helphoto 2023
Sofi Lundin (SE) "The “Iron Lady” from Somalia" - Helphoto 2023