Originally from Afghanistan

Cultural mediator at CAS Centre (First Emergency Reception), Italy

Nejat's Story

I believe asylum-seekers like me should try to make the most of the reception phase in Italy, while they are still waiting for their asylum procedure to be finalized. I arrived in Italy when I was just 22 years old. At first I was housed in a CAS, a temporary reception centre managed by GUS (Human Solidarity Group). I was in the CAS for almost two years, waiting for my asylum procedure to be finalized. While waiting I tried to keep busy as much as possible, by launching my studies again and learning Italian.

When my asylum procedure was finalized I was moved to the SPRAR (Second Instance Reception Centre) for a few months. Here I attended a course on cultural mediation, which landed me my first short-term contract as a social worker and cultural mediator at GUS. This short-term position quickly turned into a full-time permanent job!

“As GUS helped me, I now help GUS to be a more effective organization”

I owe my success to the GUS operators and teachers, and to the courses that I took- they have been immensely helpful and they have supported me in my dream to become a cultural mediator. Both the teachers and the operators gave me confidence in myself by trusting that I could handle big responsibilities. Without them, I would never have been successful and now I am certainly a more professional person.

In the future I would like to study economics at an Italian university, as it is my dream to one day start my own business.

My advice to other asylum-seekers is to start learning Italian right away, not just so that you can find a job, but also to improve on a personal level. If you do not know the language once you leave the reception centre, you will struggle to find a job. Anyway, once you leave the centre, you have to do so much more by yourself- you won’t always have social workers to help you!

IOM uses cookies, by using this website you consent to the use of cookies. Close