For 18 years of her life, Rose lived at the Kakuma refugee camp. The Kakuma refugee camp was established in 1992 following the arrival of “Lost Boys of Sudan” – a group of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Millions of others were killed, and even more were severely affected by the conflict. As of January 2021, the camp was still home to more than 160,000 refugees from South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Uganda. It is in one of the poorest counties in Kenya.
When Rose landed in Ohio in 2016, she didn’t have much: she couldn’t drive, and she struggled to find work to support her family.
She took the bus to her day labour job each day, hoping there might be some work – any work – but, often she would only be offered work a few days a week.
Rose says her “spirit told [her] that something good would happen in the future and to keep working hard until opportunity came again,” so she never gave up. She had endured so much just to land in Ohio in 2016, and her journey to the US wasn’t easy.
In April 2017, Adecco took over the account and hired Rose as an associate, where she has been ever since. Rose started as a packer on the line and soon became a line trainer, teaching others how to make boxes on the line.
This job site is home to immigrants from around the world, including – the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and many other African countries. Rose was able to interact with these associates because she speaks 12 native African languages – yes, 12. As a trainer, Rose said she quickly identified that she needed to “create friendships with [her] black and white American co-workers so [she] could learn to speak better English.” These friendships would help not only her to only advance, but also allow her to become a bridge between the diverse cultures, so others could advance, too.