Serkhalem Elmo

Ethiopia – Relocated to the US in 2018.

Serkhalem Elmo

Ethiopia – Relocated to the US in 2018.


Serkhalem lived in Israel for seven years, next to the Haganah train station, with her husband, her two children (ages 5 & 3), and her husband’s brother.

 

"I prefer not to talk about why I left Ethiopia or about what happened in the Sinai because it's too difficult. I met my husband in Sudan and we came to Israel together. My husband started working in a restaurant and we rented an apartment. I couldn’t work because they did not give me a visa and told me to go to court. In court, the judge told me to leave Israel and go back to Ethiopia within the next 60 days. But how can I leave? I have a husband and children here, and my husband is Eritrean, and there is a war between the two countries. I went to the Interior Ministry and they said, "Leave the children with your husband and go back to Ethiopia or Uganda…you must leave." I was very afraid so I went to the UN to ask for help. Luckily, they helped us and I was not deported. In 2015, I arrived at Kuchinate. My head was not right. I was very worried that something was wrong with me and that I wouldn’t be able to care for my children. I went to the ASAF to ask for help and they are the ones who told me that the women at Kuchinate would help me feel good. In Ethiopia, I graduated from high school and began to study secretary in a vocational school, but before I finished school, I had to escape to Sudan. My dream is to get a job and speak fluent English."