Somaliland: Legacy of a ‘Nobody’ Annalena


Somalilandsun – UNHCR Somalia commemorates the life and times of Analena Tonelli with a screening of the documentary film Annalena: Legacy of a ‘Nobody’, and a panel discussion thereafter to celebrate the amazing work of the late Annalena Tonelli, the 2003 Nansen Refugee Award winner ( ).

The panel and audience will include people who knew Annalena and worked in Somalia and the region at the time of her death.

Saturday marks the tenth anniversary of Annalena’s untimely death and UNHCR is marking the occasion with this special event on Friday 4th October at 10am in the Sankara Hotel, Westlands, Nairobi.

Annalena received the Nansen Refugee Award in June 2003 for her selfless commitment to the forcibly displaced and sick in Somalia and Wajir, northern Kenya. The 60-year-old Italian lawyer initiated programmes to tackle tuberculosis in Kenya and Somalia, worked in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, campaigned for the eradication of female genital mutilation in Africa and ran a school for hearing-impaired children. She was murdered in October 2003 at a TB hospital she set up in Borama, Somaliland. Despite the tragedy of her untimely death, Annalena’s legacy continues to thrive in Borama, north-west Somalia, through her school for deaf children and her tuberculosis hospital, which also comprises a HIV/AIDS clinic. Assisting the displaced and local communities alike in the area, the school and hospital provide aid and hope to some of the most disadvantaged in Somalia.

UNHCR has produced a 26 minute documentary to celebrate her incredible work. We have filmed in Nairobi, Borama and Wajir and we are screening the film at a special event in Nairobi this Friday October 4th at the Sankara Hotel.

We have been in contact with many people who knew and worked with Annalena – if you know of anyone who knew or worked with her, please feel free to share this mail with them. A personal recollection of Annalena Tonelli by our colleague Guido Ambroso who worked in the UNHCR Somalia operation in 1997 is also attached for your info.

If you need any more info, let us know.

Looking forward to seeing you on Friday

All the best and thanks in advance,


Assoc. Public Information Officer, UNHCR

+254 733 120 931