E tū organiser and social justice activist, Ibrahim Omer, is well-placed on the Labour Party list for the 2020 election.
Ibrahim fled his home country of Eritrea, in East Africa, as a teenager. He was escaping a violent and oppressive regime, in a country where there were no real opportunities for work or education. He just wanted a decent life, so he made the difficult decision to make the dangerous border crossing to neighbouring Sudan.
After three years in Sudanese camps, he was finally welcomed to New Zealand as a refugee. He moved to Wellington, and did minimum wage work to pay the bills and save some money, sometimes working up to 90 hours a week. In 2011, he joined E tū and got heavily involved in the Living Wage Movement, campaigning for cleaners at Victoria University of Wellington to be paid a Living Wage.
The next few years were a whirlwind. He realised his dream of going to Victoria University, studying politics and international relations. He became the Chair of ChangeMakers Resettlement Forum, an advocacy service for former refugees in Wellington. He was appointed to the Living Wage national governance group, and became a full-time organiser for E tū. Now, in 2020, Ibrahim is ready to take his voice to parliament.