ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Habso Mohamud was born in a refugee camp in Kenya.
While living in the camp, Mohamud traveled with her grandmother to traditional villages and places where nomads lived. Her grandmother wanted her and her siblings to see “the other side of the world.”
Because to Mohamud’s grandmother, they were lucky — they had shelter and knew where their next meal would come from.
“My grandmother would take us and show us you could have it worse. Be appreciative — at a very young age that’s what I learned,” Mohamud told the St. Cloud Times.
Mohamud lived in the refugee camp until she was 10. Now 24, Mohamud lives in St. Cloud. She attended St. Cloud schools and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at St. Cloud State University. She also works for the UNESCO Center of Peace and recently published a children’s book.
In her book, “It Only Takes One Yes,” Mohamud hopes to inspire children — especially young girls — to see themselves as being able to make a difference in the world.
“I want to make sure kids have a voice,” she said. “But I want to do it in my community because this community needs me.”
Despite working for the United Nations, Mohamud chooses to live in St. Cloud.
“I love it here. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I came back,” she said. “I want to give back. Without this country and without the opportunities that were presented to me, I wouldn’t be who I wanted to be.
“And this is the country where you can be anything you want to be in this world.”
Mohamud’s parents lived in Somalia before fleeing the country for Kenyan refugee camps during the civil war in Somalia. Her mother never finished high school but her father went to college and was a medic in the military.
Mohamud received an education in the camp but said it was very basic and without a set curriculum because the population changed so frequently.