Habitat for Humanity - Erie, PA

Anderson Family

Rosemary Anderson is originally from Liberia in West Africa. She was forced to leave during the Liberian War. She went to Ghana, where she spent 16 years in a refugee camp with her family.

Rosemary has a total of seven children, three sons and four daughters. Two of her daughters are married with children in Ghana. They are both teachers, one with an associate’s degree and the other has a master’s degree. Her two oldest boys were taken by her husband when he returned to the war torn country. Rosemary at that point lost touch with them.

Rosemary gave birth to two more children in Ghana. Rebecca, 16, Silvia, 14, and Emmanuel, 22 are all currently living in Erie, with their mother.

Rebecca graduated from McDowell High School in 2012 and is a freshman at Edinboro University majoring in pre-law with a minor in Criminal Justice. She will live on campus but plans to come home on the weekends. Rebecca is very bright and graduated from high school early. Rebecca likes music and reads a lot. Silvia is a sophomore at Central High School looking at pre-engineering. She is known as the family “technology guru”. Emmanuel likes to cook and play soccer. He wants to play soccer for Penn State Behrend. He was the captain of the soccer team at Villa Maria Academy. Emmanuel is a new father of a baby boy, Elijah, who was born on July 5, 2012.

While in the refugee camp, Rosemary completed four years of school studying construction. She was thrilled that she learned all of the basics of building, such as laying bricks and plastering. She also is a skilled seamstress with a certificate in sewing and dressmaking. She earned a certificate in cosmetology and at one point, she had her own salon in Liberia.

Rosemary came to the United States in April 2006. She continued to develop her building skills by taking a painting course here in Erie. For the last five years she has worked in the maintenance department of the Erie Housing Authority.

Rosemary says that her favorite hobby is cooking. Her family says that all of her cooking is good, but she makes the best chicken. She also likes to sing.

Rosemary is excited for her Habitat for Humanity experience and looks forward to having a permanent place for she and her children to live.

Rosemary officially became a U.S. citizen in May 2011.

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