Aaron’s Story, Refugee from Ethiopia

Aaron’s Story, Refugee from Ethiopia

While my family was sleeping, six police officers entered my house and murdered my father. My father had been involved with the opposition party in Ethiopia, and he was targeted by corrupt officials. On the night of his murder, I ran for my life.

I ran by myself to Kenya and ended up in an UNHCR refugee camp where I lived for many years. In the refugee camp, I had a business where I sold all sorts of items like clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and food. I met my wife in the Protestant church in the refugee camp. We got married one year after we met.

One day, someone stole money from me and my business. I reported him, but he was a man who was working for the refugee camp, and he was stealing money from other refugees too. When I reported this man, it started a large investigation and they arrested him, but they let him go a few days later because the system is corrupt. Because I reported him, this man wanted to kill me. Once again, I ran for my life.

The UNHCR put me under their protection from 2016-2019. For almost four years I had to stay inside for my safety. During this time I could not work; I could not go outside or in public. When my wife had a baby, the UNHCR escorted her to the hospital and brought her back to our house immediately after. As my baby grew up, she never played with or even saw other children. Those four years were very, very long years; it felt like ten years went by.

When we were finally approved to be resettled in Canada, my family was escorted all the way to the airplane boarding gate. When I felt the wheels of the plane lift off the ground, I felt so happy and I was praising God. God is good. I know God is great because I am not dead. My wife is pregnant and my new baby will be Canadian. My children will not see problems in Canada like I did in Africa. In Canada, I can walk to the store, I can go outside whenever I want to, and my kids can play with other children – We are free! I am hoping for a new story and new good things.

New Hope Community Services

New Hope Community Services Society began in 2004 with the purpose of assisting refugee claimants and resettled refugees. We do this through housing in conjunction with social, personal, spiritual, educational and vocational support.

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