Former refugee an advocate for education

(Advocacy4oromia, 19 February 2017) Dammee Sero has come a long way, from a refugee camp in Kenya to be an award-winning student at Laurier Brantford.

Dammee Sero

Dammee Sero

Dammee, who is originally from Ethiopia, received a World University Service of Canada scholarship to study in Canada at Laurier. Students living in refugee camps can apply to the WUSC Student Refugee Program for a scholarship, with the funding donated by students at Canadian universities. Universities sponsor a student refugee.

The 25-year-old has been selected as a 2017 Education Champion by the Education WORKS Alliance, after being nominated by Fanshawe College.

Dammee, who is studying Human Rights & Human Diversity at Laurier, is an outspoken advocate for the power and importance of education.
“My motivation comes from the love I have for education, the encouragement and recognition I received,” says Dammee, who used to walk for more than an hour to attend school in Africa. “And, also, to make sure that my mom’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain.”

Dammee’s mother fled Ethiopia with her children in 2001, leaving to escape political persecution of their ethnic Oromo people – a persecution that still continues. Dammee’s father was a teacher and was jailed several times.

Dammee praises her mother, who passed away in 2015, for her caring and compassion, and wanting the best for her children.
The Laurier student moved with her family to the Kakuma refugee camp in 2002 when she was 10.

This past year, Dammee was one of 10 students in Canada to receive the 3M National Student Fellowship Award, which is given to college or university students who display outstanding leadership.

Having to leave Ethiopia and having lived in a refugee camp for 10 years, Dammee is very aware of what it means to lose something.
“Learning is the only thing that can never be taken away from you, and learning expands your horizon. It is amazing to see how it can turn your life around for the better,” she says. “So go for it. Learn and learn whenever you can. It is the best decision.”

Dammee has finished her BA at Laurier and will officially graduate this June. She is working part time as a research assistant on a project related to the wellbeing of women and girls. Future plans include doing a Master’s degree and attending law school.

Canada is now Dammee’s home and she plans to build a life here, though she can see herself returning to Africa to work on specific projects on a temporary basis.



About advocacy4oromia

The aim of Advocacy for Oromia-A4O is to advocate for the people’s causes to bring about beneficial outcomes in which the people able to resolve to their issues and concerns to control over their lives. Advocacy for Oromia may provide information and advice in order to assist people to take action to resolve their own concerns. It is engaged in promoting and advancing causes of disadvantaged people to ensure that their voice is heard and responded to. The organisation also committed to assist the integration of people with refugee background in the Australian society through the provision of culturally-sensitive services.

Posted on February 19, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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