Helen Tesfamariam is half Eritrean and half Ethiopian, but born and raised in Sudan. In 2015, she came to the Netherlands through a full scholarship to study for an International Baccalaureate at United World College (UWC) in Maastricht.
The study was successful and she received her diploma in May 2017. The UWC was helpful in finding a grant to study at a university in the United States. It was a shock and deep disappointment when she was informed by the American Consulate in Amsterdam that her visa for the U.S. was refused due to the new U.S. immigration regulations imposed by the Trump Administration.
In January 2018, Helen received a residence permit to stay and work in the Netherlands. She recently successfully completed a traineeship with TOMS in Amsterdam and is currently a trainee with She Matters.
She Matters is the strong start I am taking towards my future career. For me it is not about entering the NL labour market, but about achieving my goals that I set as a result of the difficult childhood I had to go through. My future goals include working and fighting for children’s rights and to dismiss poverty as far as possible.Helen Tesfamariam