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Hope away from home: Rahwa's Pursuit of a Better Life

Rahwa's journey from Eritrea to Ethiopia was driven by a deep desire for a better opportunity in life. Rahwa faced limited options for education and personal growth in her home country. With an unwavering determination, she embarked on a challenging path towards a brighter future.

Posted on 22 Jun 2023

In 2018, during a period of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Rahwa made the arduous journey to Addis Ababa. Traveling by bus, she arrived in a new land with hopes of finding the opportunities she had missed back home. Upon reaching Ethiopia, Rahwa registered as a refugee, ready to rebuild her life from scratch.

Equipped with a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Asmara University, Rahwa had a solid educational foundation. In Eritrea, she had worked as a teacher in a high school, but like many Eritrean youths, she was obligated to join the military training camp known as Sawa and to put her career on hold.

Rahwa had always dreamed of continuing her education, but the limited opportunities made it nearly impossible for her to pursue further studies.

Driven by her determination, Rahwa decided to take a leap of faith and flee her homeland. She left behind her family, including her parents whom she dearly misses, and embarked on a new journey in Ethiopia. The uncertainty and challenges she faced were immense, but Rahwa believed that the pursuit of a better life was worth the risk.

As a refugee in Ethiopia, it is not always easy to find a job. In Addis Ababa, she landed her first job as an English teacher, utilizing her language skills to help others. Her dedication and hard work caught the attention of humanitarian organizations, and soon she started to work for the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Rahwa's commitment to her work and her genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of fellow refugees shone through in every task she undertook.

She later joined the Danish Refugee Council in Addis Ababa, where she provides crucial assistance to Eritrean refugees, utilizing her personal experience and skills to help them cope with the emotional and psychological challenges they face.

Rahwa finds immense fulfilment in her work. It not only keeps her busy but also allows her to connect with and support others who have experienced similar hardships.        

Although Rahwa is able to work as a refugee incentive worker, these positions receive only a small stipend based on government policy. Many refugees are working for low pay, despite their professional qualifications.

While Rahwa remains separated from her parents, their voices bring her solace. She draws strength from her family, especially her brothers living in Canada, who provide her with the financial support she needs to sustain herself in Ethiopia.

Looking towards the future, Rahwa is determined to continue her education. She recognizes the value of acquiring new skills that will open doors to better opportunities. Rahwa plans to enroll in short courses focused on financial and data analysis, realizing that these skills will enhance her prospects in the job market.

Rahwa's journey is not just one of survival and resilience but also a testament to the indomitable human spirit. As the world commemorates World Refugee Day, Rahwa's story serves as a reminder that refugees are not defined by their past but by their unwavering hope for a brighter future and willingness to contribute to the society.

Her determination to overcome adversity and build a meaningful life in a new country inspires us all to recognize the potential and aspirations of those who seek refuge and a chance to thrive.

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