Sesuna & Tekle
Sesuna and her husband Tekle fled Eritrea in 2009 to escape the harsh life of indefinite, mandatory military service, which has been described as national forced labor. Soldiers are paid poorly, don’t get leave, aren’t able to access education, and are often separated from their family.
Now, after arriving to Chicago just 2 years ago, Sesuna and Tekle have successfully built a life they could only dream of when they fled their home.
After fleeing Eritrea, Sesuna and Tekle worked odd jobs in nearby Sudan for 7 years, doing what they could to create some resemblance of normalcy while applying and waiting (and waiting) for the opportunity to be resettled in the U.S.
They longed for the chance to lead a full life.
The couple finally arrived in Chicago in 2016, grateful and relieved. Soon after that they proudly welcomed a baby girl, thrilled that she'd grow up only knowing the abundance of opportunities the U.S. has to offer.
Resilience, bravery, hard work – these are all things you may have come to expect from refugees. Even so, beginning a new life in a new country is difficult. Refugees are more likely to succeed with the help of friends like you.
Once her daughter was a few months old, Sesuna was eager to get back to work. She reached out to RefugeeOne’s employment team.
Thanks to RefugeeOne supporters, there were resources available. And not just to get Sesuna started, but see her dreams through every step of the way.
RefugeeOne helped navigate the application process for her first U.S. job: working third shift in a local factory. Once hired, we helped her arrange transportation and provided her the required uniform. Details like these can be of significant cost for refugees just starting to work – your donations help remove these hurdles so refugees can start strong.
Sesuna was glad to join her husband in supporting their family and even appreciated working through the night so she could spend the day with her daughter. She worked hard to do her job well and understand a new work culture. And after a few months, she knew she wanted to do even more for her family.
She reached out to RefugeeOne’s employment team again. She had done her research – she
wanted to go into the hospitality industry. Again, RefugeeOne was able to help. Applications were submitted, practice interviews were done, then a real interview was scheduled. She got the job!
Sesuna is now making $16/hour with full benefits. She’s providing for her family and is confident her daughter will grow up with everything she needs.
Generosity from friends like you has helped dozens of refugees earn promotions and find new opportunities offering higher wages, benefits, and more family-friendly schedules. And there are more refugees who need assistance as they work towards a better life.
Hundreds of refugee families who have arrived the past few years are still adjusting to a new culture, recovering from trauma, and working to make their dreams a reality. And despite changes at the federal level, RefugeeOne continues to welcome new refugees each month.
Make a gift today to help families like Sesuna’s thrive as new Americans.