The Demeke Family

"I am forever grateful for this wonderful organization."

Ms. Demeke single mother with two wonderful boys, a daughter and a beautiful granddaughter. She moved to the United States on a Visiting Visa as a refugee from Ethiopia. Ms. Demeke was a news reporter, five months pregnant and in a very dangerous and difficult situation, being threatened by death from the Ethiopian government, which forced her to flee the country to protect her life, and the life of her unborn child, while leaving behind her entire family. Upon arrival in the U.S. she was granted asylum and began the immigration process. It took 2-3 years to complete the immigration process and enable her to bring her children to the United States. She became a U.S. Citizen in 2011.

Life was difficult. Ms. Demeke did not speak English and only had the clothes on her back and her infant son. She was adrift with no support. Out of perseverance and strong will she pushed hard to find a job, food assistance, childcare, a driver’s license, an old used car, secondhand furniture and was able to build a safe haven for her family. With mattresses on the floor, sheets on the windows, little sleep, eviction notices piling up and continued barriers, she never stopped. Ms. Demeke kept picking herself up and pushing forward as she applied for and attended school, learned English, retrained in a new field of employment and now she has a very rewarding job as an Operating Room Technician in a local children’s hospital.

In her own words:

“I’ve been fortunate to meet some very kind people who’ve helped me along the way with work, my children and making a life for my family here in Utah. I found out about Habitat for Humanity and applied with no expectations. Once I was approved, I worked very hard to get my sweat equity hours completed. I have sacrificed and hit many adversities in this sometimes-hostile world. Through my dedication and hard work this fairy tale miracle came true. I am forever grateful for this wonderful organization of Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity. Thank you!”

Ms. Demeke and her family have been happily living in their home, built through Habitat for Humanity, since Summer 2013.