Harris Wofford Award
Dr. Mohamud Sheikh Nurein Said
Dr. Mohamud Said is a distinguished Kenyan volunteer, philanthropist and humanitarian engaged in a wide range of medical service and human rights activities on the local, national and international levels. A long time volunteer with the 70,000-member Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), he rose through the ranks and currently serves as its Governor (President). He has devoted himself to assisting displaced persons and has been responsible for overseeing the largest refugee camp in the world with over 600,000 persons from the Somali crisis. Dr. Said represented Africa on the board of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), headquartered Copenhagen, Denmark, and was later elected president of the IRCT, the first African to hold this position. The IRCT treats over 100,000 torture victims in its 150 centers in 75 countries in all the regions of the world.
A life-long member of the Kenya Medical Association (KMA), he founded and chaired the KMA Human Rights Committee, and is a member of the KMA Medical Camp and the Continuous Professional Development Committee. Dr. Said is also vice chairman of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit Kenya, a nongovernmental organization that seeks a torture-free society by promoting the rights of torture victims, advocating for policy reforms, monitoring government adherence to human rights, and rehabilitating victims of torture.
Over the last seven years, as the coordinator of the Pedro Cavadas Foundation, headquartered in Valencia, Spain, Dr. Said’s team has performed reconstructive surgery for poor children and adults from eight East African countries. Dr. Said is a practicing medical doctor who operates his own private hospital and pharmacy in Bungoma County, Kenya. He graduated from medical school in 1979.
Peace Corps Connection:
- As a student attending the Marsabit Secondary School in Kenya, Dr. Said’s first encounter with the Peace Corps came in 1965 when Peace Corps Volunteers served as teachers at his school.
- Recounting the early days of his education and experience with the Peace Corps, Said recalls, “The Peace Corps teachers encouraged us to study hard so that we could come home one day and help our countrymen. As a young boy I always wondered why these white people would leave the comforts in their countries and volunteer in Africa. Since then I have been involved in humanitarian activities as a volunteer.”
- In Kenya, the Bungoma Muslim Secondary School and the Mumias Vocational Secondary School for Deaf Girls—both of which Dr. Said currently serves on the board for—often act as hosts for Peace Corps Volunteers.
- The efforts of Dr. Said have helped Peace Corps Volunteers return to the Marsabit region, where Dr. Said visits them on a regular basis.
More at peacecorpsconnect.org
- Press release
- Dr. Said’s acceptance speech
- Dr. Mohamud Sheikh Nurein Said Wins 2013 Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award – NPCA blog post
- Said on The Hill - NPCA blog post
- The Recap: Peace Corps Connect – Boston 2013 – NPCA blog post
- Wofford Award Winner Spreads Message of Peace Corps Impact - NPCA blog post
- Media coverage – NPCA media resources page
Atiku Abubakar — a Nigerian politician, businessman and philanthropist — was the first recipient of the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award, which was presented at the Promise of the Peace Corps Gala in September 2011.
A successful businessman and vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, Abubakar has a long history of philanthropy, having given more than $300 million to support educational and health-related organizations in Nigeria, including founding the American University of Nigeria in 2005 through a partnership with American University in Washington, D.C.
“As a young, poor student from the northeast of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar was inspired by Peace Corps teachers to pursue education and public service. After a successful career, he founded the American University of Nigeria, the best private university in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Robert Pastor, who as vice president at American University in Washington, D.C., worked with Abubakar.
You can read more about Abubakar, his Peace Corps connection, and the American University of Nigeria here.