Stories: Sesuna & Tekle*
A Chance for a Full Life
Sesuna and her husband Tekle fled Eritrea in 2009 to escape a harsh life of indefinite, mandatory military service
Sesuna and her husband Tekle fled Eritrea in 2009 to escape a harsh life of indefinite, mandatory military service, often described as national forced labor.
They went to nearby Sudan, where they applied for the opportunity to be resettled in the U.S. and spent 7 years working odd jobs, waiting for the chance to lead a full life.
Now, after just a few years living in Chicago, Sesuna and Tekle have successfully built a life they could only dream of when they fled Eritrea. They’ve also welcomed a baby girl who will grow up only knowing the opportunities life here has to offer – something they’ll never take for granted.
Sesuna was eager to get back to work a few months after the birth of her daughter. She reached out to RefugeeOne’s employment team. Thanks to RefugeeOne supporters like you, there were resources available. Not just to get her started, but see her dreams through every step of the way.
RefugeeOne helped Sesuna 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 can 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 helps refugees earn promotions and find new opportunities offering higher wages, benefits, and more family-friendly schedules. Your support means refugees like Sesuna can do more than survive in their new home.
*Names have been changed to respect privacy.