ISSN 1710-6931 September 3, 2010 Issue 157

Tom Fred Obonyo Remembered

Today we pay respect to Tom Fred Obonyo, RESPECT Uganda's coordinator, who, on July 12, 2010, died in Kampala, Uganda, after contracting the deadly typhoid fever. He was 46 years old.

Tom was a human rights and peace activist whose main goal in life was focused on lifting his fellow countrymen and women in Northern Uganda from the despair and ravages of decades of war.

He was born in the Agoro sub-county Kitgum District in Northern Uganda and like many Ugandans became an internally displaced person due to the deadly civil wars that have ripped that country apart since the early 1980s.

But he did not allow the terror of war or being displaced break his spirit; instead he drew strength from the conflicts and the plight of communities forced to live in refugee camps, and set about to bring some hope — no matter how slim — to their lives. Tom Fred Obonyo

The Ripples from A Teacher: Freja's Story

Inspiring people are all around us. And Freja Solomon, a Humanities teacher from Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School at Massachusetts, United States of America, is one of them.

Driven by her love of engaging young people in studying social problems and taking action to create a more just world, she enrolled her class in RESPECT International's Letter Exchange Program, through which non-refugee students and refugee students communicate through pen-pal letter exchange.

Disappointed by her teaching experience in a public school which she regarded as pedantic and often sapped the joy out of learning, Freja decided to study alternative education theories and models while in college. She obtained a degree in education social change which combined her love of education and passion for social justice. Freja Solomon


From Somalia to Kenya-Moulid's Story

Moulid Iftin Hujale
Moulid Iftin Hujale

In 1991 when Moulid Iftin Hujale was just four years old, he and his family were forced from their homeland after civil wars broke out in Somalia. "We feared for our lives and those of our loved ones," Moulid said.

He only recalls a handful of those grueling, early memories; others came to him by means of family stories. "Our home was destroyed. Our access to facilities and supplies was cut off and we were separated from our mother."

He traveled with his elder sister and father to Southern Somalia where they experienced a few years of calm until their father died and the civil unrest in Somalia worsened.

Moulid and his sister had to escape but without parents they traveled with strangers who were running from war and persecution. "It took us almost a month to reach the border but in 1999, we were registered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (the UNHCR) at the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya," he said. Moulid Iftin Hujale

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at

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