“In 2015 while I was walking to New York City (www.walk2nyc.com), many people were walking to Europe. From Syria. Fleeing the war. Looking for a safer place for themselves and their families. Sometimes leaving friends and family behind. And I wanted to do something. Something significant.
In August I moved in with my girlfriend and we had loads of stuff twice. At first we dropped things off at the second hand store but talking to my friend Ema made us decide that it would be of better use to refugees at the local shelter. That’s how I eventually met Fadi. A great guy who had just gotten his permit after waiting for more than a year (yes, he also did the fancy boat trip to Greece and experienced the ever great hospitality in Hungary). Now, his next goal is to find work. Back home, he had a good job at the local government. He knows his way with computers and speaks English very well. Also, he enjoys fixing motorcycles and has recently learned to cook.
However, companies seem to be afraid of the unknown and prefer Western employees who speak the local language. At the same time the media and politics are driven by fear rather than trust and hope. Now I wouldn’t say “I have a dream”, cause that’s someone else’s line, but I actually do have a dream, or a belief if you will. I believe (and you can call me naive) in a society in which we live together, natives and immigrants. A society without fear and distrust. A society in which we say Good Morning 🙂 to the Turkish pizza baker, the Polish car mechanic and the Syrian construction worker, and perhaps a chat about the weather or the family.
So, why not help them get their lives back on track? Help them to find a safe place to live and a great place to work? So that they themselves can contribute to society.
This is the moment where I’ll be asking for your help.
Just a couple of days ago, at night (I couldn’t sleep), based on a US company that tries to get elderly people back to work, I built this very very simple website for job openings for refugees. Not that these job openings are solely for refugees but it at least shows that these companies accept refugees to apply so that refugees have the faith of being treated fairly and a chance of a new start. I have scraped a few job openings from the internet (took me hours) but more is needed! I would appreciate it if you could share this website and if you happen to be looking for new hires: click that Post Job button!
Thanks a million!” – Arjen Ulrich
“In the summer of 1989 when I was 8 years old, my parents took the brave decision to flee from East-Germany. A country that claimed to be a democratic socialist state whilst spying on its people, tearing families apart and imprisoning anyone with an opinion that did not concur with the political party. 27 years after the Berlin Wall came down, people world-wide are still confronted with walls, and the awful decision to leave their home, family and friends behind.
Every year on November 9th, I celebrate my freedom. I appreciate the choices I am able to make and the life I am able to live. Being born in the EU gives me freedom on so many levels. It also made it possible for me to move to The Netherlands eight years ago and to build a new life here. Every year I think of the many people who are not that lucky. And still one question remains: “Do you ever stop being a refugee?” I think that I forgot about my status as “the-new-girl” 3 years after arriving in West-Germany when I changed to a new school where everyone was new. Now, I certainly hope to help people to overcome this label more quickly and just be the new neighbour, friend or colleague.
Kindness is sometimes hard to find in mankind and every now and then I am questioning whether I am a minority in my way of liberal thinking. But I am the lucky girlfriend of a great guy. A guy who just like me wants to do more than just complaining about the way things are and instead is trying to change them himself. When he first told me about his idea for Fujobee, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to be part of this initiative. Actually, giving the project its name was our first collaboration along the way.
Now, we are hoping to establish many more collaborations. With companies, with asylum seeking centers and of course with newcomers themselves. We want to help connecting people with each other. Not on a single country level only, but Europe-wide, because we both do not believe in borders.
We invite you to be a part of Fujobee, too, so please contribute wherever you can!” – Jette Malow
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