Alumnus, Refugee, Community Leader
Muuxi Adam is a former Somali refugee who endured civil war and its horrible aftermath. The eldest of five children, he grew up surrounded by poverty and gunfire. At 14, he was kidnapped by warlords, chained and forced to work long hours. He escaped and in 2004, arrived in Winnipeg not understanding a word of English.
Adam was one of the first students to receive financial support through The University of Winnipeg’s Opportunity Fund and with hard work and tenacity, he earned a double major in international development and economics.
He has devoted his career to working with newcomer communities in Winnipeg’s inner city — focusing mainly on settlement issues, gang and street crime prevention and employment opportunities for newcomer youth.
Adam is a community leader who is passionate about working with youth and their families and is also a filmmaker who produced two documentaries with the National Film Board of Canada, one of which explored gang prevention strategies.
He gave a TEDx talk on the Impact of War on Children, to help educate others about the difficult path faced by many refugees.
He helped establish the Winnipeg-based not-for-profit organization Humankind International Inc., which is dedicated to building schools for refugee children in Ethiopia and Kenya. Approximately 150 children now attend school in the world’s largest refugee camp, in Dadaab, Kenya, as a result.Adam has received numerous awards, including the 2012 Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award. He helped pioneer and does outreach with the Newcomer Program at the Aurora Family Therapy Centre in Winnipeg’s inner city, which offers a wide variety of programs to newcomers to connect them with the local community and help them settle successfully in Canada.