Seyfu’s story isn’t possible without YOU! Will you help us for the holidays?
The Christmas story is one of sanctuary, of a family ‘taken in’ for safety, of a deep kindness extended. During the holiday season, as we search our own hearts, is there room to offer sanctuary here and now? Refugees Northwest serves people who have overcome hardship, survived tragedy, and arrived in our country asking for safety. For kindness. To be treated as we would want to be treated in the same situation.
Your support enables this work and helps our newest neighbors grow roots in a new country. What an amazing gift at this special time of year!
“I came to the US to save my life, but I lost many other things—my career, my family, and even my hope. It was a very dark time. I was alone. I had no money, no place to live, and I was forbidden by law from working.”
When Seyfu was only 6 years old, Somali soldiers invaded his home country of Ethiopia and captured him and his 4-year-old brother. He spent the next eleven years in a concentration camp where he was forced to work 15 hours a day and was repeatedly beaten for not working hard enough.
At age 17, after many dreadful years surrounded by death, torture, and starvation, Seyfu was finally released and able to return home. Despite a childhood full of hardship, Seyfu was determined to make up for lost time and threw himself into his education. Ten years later, he graduated from one of the best universities in Ethiopia with two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Geographic Information System mapping.
As a working professional, Seyfu joined a political party and began his work on climate change along with research on how to eliminate poverty in Ethiopia. His government found Seyfu’s proposals threatening to their power and he was repeatedly arrested, jailed, and tortured.
Seyfu made the fateful decision to request asylum in America. He was forced to leave his whole life behind, including his wife and two children who went into hiding
“During this dark time, I came to Refugees Northwest. I was able to get the help I so badly needed.”
Seyfu now works full time, is helping his wife and children settle into their new country, and is active in his community.