Fatuma Hussein, Maine Coast Waldorf School’s 2017 commencement keynote speaker, is the founder of the “United Somali Women of Maine” which, in 2016, morphed into the “Immigrant Resource Center of Maine.” Their mission is “to support refugee and immigrant communities by offering culturally and linguistically sensitive services to promote a healthy and equitable Maine.”
Fatuma was 12 years old when war broke out in Somalia, East Africa, where she was living with her family. Forced to flee, she arrived in a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya. From there she began the long arduous journey of a refugee seeking resettlment. Fatuma initially landed in Georgia but moved to Lewiston, Maine in 2001. She loves the small city feeling of Lewiston and she quickly became an activist in the refugee community. She has been featured as one of the Portland Press Herald’s Mainers to be thankful for and included in Maine Magazine’s list of 50 Mainers who make a difference.
Fatuma spoke at a high school forum in January and the seniors were so moved by her talk that they invited her back to be their commencement speaker. You can read her address here.