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“I can do this”: Career Day for Refugee Women organized by METAdrasi

The Career Day event, organized by METAdrasi, as part of the integration program “Stepping Stone”, on March 17, 2022, has garnered a significant attendance of refugee and immigrant women. Serafio came alive with the presence of these dynamic women, who actively participated throughout the event, originating from 18 different countries.

The aim of the Career Day event was to provide the opportunity to refugee and immigrant women, to get to know and speak with experts in the field of Human Resources and to learn from them what type of jobs are available, how they can take advantage of opportunities and which are the appropriate skills that will help them navigate successfully the labor market and achieve business integration.

Particularly important was the presence of company representatives, who encouraged the women, urging them to have self-confidence and not be afraid to follow their dreams.

“We offer the same opportunities to everyone, regardless of color, race or nationality,” said Costa Navarino, Director of Human Resources, who has demonstrated her empathy in recent years and has already helped former unaccompanied children supported by METAdrasi in pursuing their first professional careers.

“Diversity is having a seat at the table. Inclusion is having a voice. Belonging is having your voice heard” was the exact words of Eleni Pardali Consultant of Adecco Recruitment. Representatives from Phaea Resorts, Kariera.gr and NM Excellence, presented the possibilities of integration in the labor market and specifically in the tourism sector, which is a constantly growing industry.

“A large percentage of the refugee and immigrant population speaks two or three languages ​​and with the appropriate training they have the opportunity to work directly in the humanitarian field as an interpreter,” said a spokeswoman from METAdrasi’s interpretation department.

The second part of the event really captivated all the participants: refugee and immigrant women shared their success stories, speaking about how they overcame insurmountable obstacles and difficulties in order to build their own successful business, how they managed to expand them and are now able to offer jobs to others.

When I came to Greece I did not speak the language. I had to find a job right away, to be able to support my daughter. In the beginning I was cleaning houses, I was working in restaurants in the kitchen. In every job you can find positive elements, learn and improve. I never gave up,” said Zara, who arrived in Greece ten years ago, managed to open her first hair salon and now owns and runs a chain of hair salons.

I come from Afghanistan and I arrived in Greece about three years ago. I stayed in a refugee camp. At first I almost went crazy. I began sawing clothes and when I finally came to Athens I thought I should give it a go: I started designing my own clothes from second hand clothes made by good fabrics. Last year, in fact, I had my first fashion show,” said Shafigheh.

Nina from Cameroon had studied in her country before coming to Greece. While pregnant she received a scholarship for a master’s degree in economics. But she did not stop there either: in addition to her current job, she received a second scholarship for an MBA at the University of the People, with the help of METAdrasi. And she mentioned, “If you want to move forward, you have to constantly work on yourself, try to expand your potential.”

Out of the 65 women who participated in the event, before leaving many of them used different words to describe the same feeling: I can do this“!

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