I Am Proud that I Am Working; I See Myself Progressing Every Day.

Nothing is for free, and to make your own life easier, you should work. Not everyone is born to be a famous football player, you have to find what you love and identify your opportunities. Some people think that work is a punishment- but it’s not! When I came to the Netherlands, I didn’t know where I would end up. I had no hope, I was traumatized, I kept to myself and I felt like I was worth nothing. Today I have been living for one year and a half in this country; I am proud that I am working and I am happy.

I feel like I can be somebody because I am doing what I love and I can see my future unfolding. At first, I was working as a housekeeping supervisor at a hotel, but I felt that the role was not right for me. So I sat down at home, and thought about what I would like to do and about my hobbies. One of them is cooking! I gained some determination from this exercise, and made an effort to share my interest to work in a professional kitchen as a cook. My coach at Manpower, a Dutch employment agency, said “So you think you can be a cook?” and I replied: “Of course! Why not, I can do it!”

“I am proud that I am working; I see myself progressing every day.”

My advice is to speak out, to tell people what you want and what you need, otherwise people cannot support you. This approach helped me. I shared my information and career plans with others. That is why I am working in a professional kitchen today. Although we have some challenges, as migrants - I had some fear of being different, and looking different with my dark skin. The language is a challenge. But I am learning Dutch, so in a few years I will be speaking perfect Dutch like a local. There are many opportunities for migrants, and everyone can and should work.

Alisat from Uganda