Novi Sad, December 5, 2019 – As a part of the integrational support provided by Asylum Protection Center (APC/CZA), our team of lawyers and social workers helps asylum seekers and refugees in the employment process in the local environment, and within the “Support to asylum seekers and persons granted protection in entering the labor market” in Serbia, financed by the Swiss Confederation, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
Klara is an APC/CZA client from an African country and currently lives in Novi Sad. Recently, with the help of the APC/CZA integration team, she started working in the Chinese cuisine restaurant “Dva Štapića” as an assistant cook. Given the sensitivity of her case and all she had been through, the APC/CZA recruitment assistant carefully selected the appropriate job by talking to her, trying to match her skills and work and life experience with the current job offer, looking above all for a warm and encouraging environment in which she will feel safe. Her experience is such that she encountered challenges and discrimination in her country, and the situation is similar in Serbia, so it was most important for her to feel safe at work and to have support.
Our social-integration associate went with Klara to a job interview where they met the restaurant manager and got all the information about working conditions. Immediately after the job interview, Klara was very happy and extremely motivated to work. She expressed satisfaction due to the very good working conditions. We helped her do a sanitary inspection and start working. On the first working day, she was very excited about her new job, the new things she was going to learn, but also because of her colleagues who accepted her nicely and helped her settle in. She pointed out that the environment that supports her means a lot to her, as well as communication with new people where she has the opportunity to additionally learn the Serbian language. Step by step, Klara overcomes the challenges that refugee life marked by exclusion and discrimination put before her, and work certainly represents a key step in the integration process, which is the ultimate goal of people who have received asylum protection in Serbia. Klara still doesn’t know if this is the job she wants to do, but it certainly represents a good start and an opportunity to learn new skills and make contacts that will help her in the further process of integration.