Abdijabar is a sophomore Feb at Middlebury College majoring in Computer Science. He was born Garissa, the head quarter of Kenya’s Northeastern Somali province. He attended the Starehe Boys’ Center & School in Nairobi, Kenya for his high school education. He is an avid lover of Somali and Arabic poetry and speaks Somali, Swahili, English and Arabic.
Inspired by his desire for changing the widespread mental health stigma in the Horn of Africa region( Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea), Abdijabar founded Daryeel, a voluntary youth program that aims to fight mental health stigma in Dadaab Refugee Camp, the world’s largest refugee complex in Dadaab, Kenya. In a region that has the highest mental illness rate in the world due to the perennial civil strife and instability in parts of the Horn of Africa, Daryeel aims to be a tool of bridging the gap between the mentally ill persons and the non-mentally ill in the camp by capitalizing on the centrality of the Somali Tea Shop. The Somali Tea Shop is the nerve-center of the societal interactions across Somali-speaking territories in the Horn of Africa. In the summer of 2016, Daryeel shall operate and Dadaab and in subsequent summers, it is expected to reach Mogadishu, Somalia and Jijiga, Eastern Ethiopia.
Abdijabar is in constant search for learning ways of using technology to effect social change. In the near future, he hopes to be a pioneer in the development of robots in the Horn of Africa to augment humanitarian efforts in disaster management. He enjoys “coding with purpose”.
He currently works as the Communications Assistant at the Digital Liberal Arts (DLA), Middlebury College, in which he is in charge of designing flyers for the DLA events and updating the DLA newsletter using HTML5/CSS. See his profile at http://sites.middlebury.edu/dla/people/. He also works with the Burlington-based Vermont Heritage Language Project as a volunteer tutor teaching the Somali language to school-aged children of Somali descent in Burlington, VT.
Since joining Middlebury College, Abdijabar has been an active member of the Umoja African Students Union and the Black Students Union. Through these organizations, he participated in the Amka Conference, the Harvard Africa Business Conference and the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale. He is a member of the Middlebury College Rugby Club (MCRC).
During the summer of 2015, he worked in Middlebury College’s Armstrong Library as a Circulations Assistant providing customer care to Summer Spanish School students, faculty, and staff seeking library services.