Point of Departure
Almaz was born in Eritrea, but lived in Ethiopia during the Ethiopian Revolution. Political turmoil in her homeland forced her to migrate to a refugee camp in Kenya. She found that “being a refugee is not easy. It’s difficult.” Almaz struggled to find a job and was constantly on the move in a country she was not familiar with. The Kenyan refugee camp was where she experienced her worst, but also most memorable moment. Trying to gain approval to migrate with refugee status, Almaz was faced with an uncooperative and impolite person that refused to help her. Although this was a negative experience in her life, Almaz came away realizing that “that one challenge, one problem, one issue, is just one door in your life that is being closed but only you have the ultimate power to close all the doors in your life. We all are in charge of our lives.” To this day, Almaz shares her experience in a refugee camp with everyone she works with to inspire them in their new lives.
Almaz did not give up on trying to migrate as a refugee. Although it was her dream to move to the United States, she ultimately was accepted and invited to move to Canada. Unsure of what her life would be like in Canada, she began her departure for Calgary within a month.
She reiterates to everyone that “we can learn from any experience whether it’s good or bad including the negative ones, which either can destroy you or make you a better person.”