Rochester organization helps Ethiopian family seeking refuge in - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester organization helps Ethiopian family seeking refuge in the U.S.


Gilo Bare and his family traveled a long way to come to the United States. Before coming to Rochester, they were at a refugee camp in Kenya, and before that, they were in their home country of Ethiopia.

Faced with genocide and fearing the safety of his family, Bare had no choice but to leave the country with them.

"We have been genocized by the Ethiopian government in 2003, December 13, then we came to Kenya Refugee camp," said Bare.

He and his family lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for ten years. Bare said the Ethiopian government was targeting his tribe, the Anuak. Their tribe's land was fertile and had resources.

"Our land is fertile and if we don't agree maybe...they want to use force. Or they want to make us no power, then they will do whatever they want," said Bare. 

About 2 or 3 months after arriving in Rochester, Bare secured a job and his wife was going to school to learn English. Bare lost his job because of lack of transportation.

But they are safe here and ready to work hard to support their family. The arrival of their newborn two months ago meant working even harder, but and they're getting help from the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association.

"Even though he's unemployed right now, but he has the capability, you know, or the determination to find a job, and we are helping him with that and they are a very exciting family to work with," said Employment Counselor Warda Hussein.

Bare's wife wants to improve her English by going back to school once her baby is a little older. Bare comes to the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association once a week to get help finding jobs and filling out applications.

The IMAA is helping families like Bare's with a new Match Program. It matches volunteer families with refugee families to help them transition to their new life here. Hussein says they are getting closer to finding a host family to help Bare.

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