Meet Afkab Hussein, a 2018 Champions for Change Award Recipient
CWS is pleased to honor Afkab Hussein at our annual Benefit 4 Change. Afkab is a former refugee from Somalia who recently resettled by CWS’ affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. He works there as a trucker, driving 3,000 miles per week.
Afkab’s story is one of struggle, patience, and perseverance. After fleeing the civil war in Somalia, Afkab spent 25 years living in a refugee camp in Kenya. There, he met and married Rhodo, his wife. In September 2015, when his wife was seven months pregnant, Afkab was finally able to resettle to the U.S. and begin a new life.
Two months later, his son, Abdallah, was born. Rhodo and Abdallah were cleared in 2016 to join Afkab in Ohio, going through an extensive process that included security checks, medical checks and more. However, due to President Trump’s Muslim and refugee travel bans, first passed in January 2017, they have yet to arrive. Afkab has never met his now 2-year-old son. Every time Afkab and Abdallah FaceTime, Abdallah asks when he can see his daddy.
Afkab has become a strong advocate for family reunification and lifting the travel ban, making his voice heard at the congressional level. It is essential not just to support refugee and immigrant communities, but to also provide them with the opportunities to elevate their concerns and become civically engaged at the policy level. Afkab is an example of how important it is to see refugees and immigrants as empowered individuals and constituents of this country, and not just as vulnerable individuals.