The story of Tishiri

My name is Tishiri from Eritrean but I was born and grew up in Ethiopia. I was forced to flee by the ongoing border dispute between these two countries. My father had been arrested by the Ethiopian police. He later died in their custody.

Our family home and our belongings were confiscated. We didn’t have a choice – we had to leave. Six of my siblings went to a different part of the country with our grandmother. My father’s business partner arranged for my mother, me and my sibling to leave the country.

We boarded a plane and arrived in Toronto, Ontario. None of us could speak any English. After my mother claimed asylum, we were put on a bus and sent to London. The house we were put in had many other asylum seekers. The staff was very kind and we were given clothes and bedding and food.

Life has been difficult for me, but my experiences have made me stronger. Being young and a woman, it isn’t easy to find your place in a new community.

But I’ve learned to be proud to be Eritrean. Until you are aware of it, you don’t realize how important it is to belong to something. My experiences, as well as the help I received from Refugee Action and other organizations, have driven me to help other refugees. I am so proud that I can help other people who are in the same situation I was in not so long ago.


by TG, Canada
posted: Tuesday, 24th June, 2014

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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