Photo by Morgan Pansing

Malia Hamza

Malia and her family fled Somalia because of the Somali Civil War and ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya. 

Malia arrived to the US in the early 2000s with her older sister as refugees from East Africa. While living in Ohio, Malia became a child bride at the age of 12 and had her first child at age 13. She is now a single mother with 6 children and ensures that her children participate in Tiyya's programs on a regular basis. 

All of her children participate in Tiyya's soccer, tutoring, or recreational activities. Tiyya's family mentor Bradley Curry helped Malia pursue her GED and she is now working 2 jobs (as a caretaker) to provide her children. 

While Malia's focus is on the betterment of her children, she also wants to speak out for other women in the community who are being abused and mistreated. One day, she hopes to write a book.