Ethiopia, 2019Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download
31 January 2019, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, Ethiopia: “People are not aware of the risks of this journey, and what they will find when they arrive where they are going,” says Samira Alemu, who left home in Ethiopia to work in Dubai in 2016. Three years later, she tells a story of unfulfilled promises, and a difficult journey back to where she is today. “There is risk of violence, of rape and abuse, you are more exposed to the risk of disease. I lost all my belongings on the way, except one shoe,” she recalls. “You think you will find a better life, but it is not what you first think.” In south central Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) are helping young migrant returnees rebuild their lives through a project called Symbols of Hope. In a context where poverty can lead to desperation and the prospect of a different life can seem distant, Ethiopia has seen many young people chose to migrate, under the promise of an income big enough to share back home, and of a better, safer life. Some go to find employment in South Africa, others go to work in households in the Middle East. Yet the promises rarely turn out as proclaimed, and many have returned home traumatized, some even destitute, as they had given up whatever land they once owned to afford a plane ticket. At the heart of the Symbols of Hope project is the goal to build awareness about the risks involved in illegal migration, and to empower young people to find alternative ways of making a living through training in business development.
- Albin Hillert, all rights reserved
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- Ethiopia - Mekane Yesus, Diakonia