Choosing to Dream | “Without speaking the language we can’t build any kind of relationship”

Our third interviewee for the “Choosing to Dream”column is Foroozan Amiri. Foroozan is a young woman, only 25 years old, who comes from Afghanistan. She arrived in Greece last year and has been working as a cultural mediator for some time now. But how did she make this fresh start? We will let her speak for herself.

choosing to dream

“I am currently working with Save the Children as a cultural mediator. After graduating from school, I started studying Electrical Engineering in the University. However, after two and a half years, I had to quit my studies to come to Greece.

In Greece, at the camp where I was staying, I decided to learn English. I started learning the language using my mobile phone, because we did not have a teacher back then. At the same time, I was teaching English to children and adults at the camp.

After some months, a volunteer came to our camp to teach. Her name is Vicki, she came from America and she was teaching us five days per week. I was learning English for six months before I decided to work, but I did not know how to actually find a job.

I requested from Generation 2.0 RED to make a CV for me and then we sent it together to different organisations. After a few months, I had an interview with Save the Children and I got a positive answer! This is the first time I work since before I was a student. I found this job after four or five months of job searching. I don’t feel I have lost any job opportunities in Greece until now because of my age, sex, religion or nationality.

When I wanted to find a job, the most difficult part was that I did not know how to look for it. I think the most important thing in order to find a job in Greece is the language, because without speaking it, we can’t build any kind of relationship.

If I were to give advice to migrants and refugees searching now for a job in Greece, it would be to learn the language and then send their CV to organisations.”

Speaking and understanding the local language of the country we reside in, or at least the English language at an independent level, can indeed make the difference not only in our job search and job finding but in our life overall. There are plenty of NGOs in Athens offering free Greek and English language courses and there are, in addition, online language programs for a self-paced learning, like Erasmus+. For more information on free language classes, please contact [email protected] or visit our website’s page with the free educational programs here.