Refugee success Story

I became a victim because of my ethnic background

Seamstress Adel, 58 years old: “Back in Cote d’Ivoire, I was a trader and a seamstress. I also run a restaurant. I loved engaging people and these activities gave me the opportunity to meet lots of them. In my shop, I sold bags, jewelries, shoes and dresses. Most of my customers were people from the community and they were friendly. However, there were a couple of others, who will intentionally get on your nerves.

My daughter was actively involved in the businesses too. She helped me run the restaurant. There were so many things to do at the same time and she was so helpful. She was always telling me to take a break.

Despite the stress that came with running my businesses, nothing gave me more joy than to see my customers happy and satisfied with the services we provided for them”.

Adel is 58 years old and was living in Kokodie, near Benjeveil in Cote d’Ivoire. Four years ago, she fled her country to Ghana when crisis broke out in Cote d’Ivoire. Some rebel groups targeted her family and others who were from the Bete ethnic group (same ethnic group as opposition leader Laurent Gbagbo). Adel was even threatened by her landowner to vacate her apartment because of her ethnic group.

Adel’s 37 year old daughter took ill and was taken to hospital. An armed group attacked the hospital. Out of fear, the daughter had a heart attack and died. Without looking back, Adel left everything and fled Cote d’Ivoire with one of her children to Ghana. They spent three days by road to cross over the border to seek safety in Ghana.

Adel has revived her love for business and is actively engaged in sewing again. “I consider my present situation as destiny, but I also hope that things will change for the better” says Adel.

Refugees – ordinary people living through extraordinary times.