For more than two decades, Dr Hawa Abdi provided humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable victims of the civil war in Somalia. She saved tens of thousands of lives in her hospital while simultaneously providing an education to hundreds of displaced children at the Waqaf-Dhiblawe school. Dr Abdi ran a 400-bed hospital with the help of her daughters Deqo and Amina, who are also doctors, on her own savings and donations. She provided food and clean water, ran a school and a women’s education centre, and campaigned against female genital mutilation.
In 2012, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work in serving displaced persons and the rural population, as well as providing equal access to healthcare, education, and food security for all. In 2014, Abdi received the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award: Freedom from Want in Middelburg, the Netherlands.