Originally from Uganda

Catering staff at Baxterstorey kitchen in the Netherlands

Alisat's Story

Nothing is for free, and to make your own life easier, you should work. Not everyone is born to be a football player, you have to find what you love and what you can do. Some people think work is a punishment- but it’s not! 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 have a long story, well, everyone has a story to tell. When I came to the Netherlands, I didn’t know I would be arriving to this land. I had no hope, I was traumatized, I kept to myself and I felt like I was worth nothing. But now, I feel like I can be somebody because I am doing what I love and I see my future growing. At first, I was working as a supervisor in housekeeping 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 like to do and my hobbies. And one of them was cooking! I gained some determination from this exercise, and made an effort to share my interest to work as a cook with others, including my coach at Manpower. They said “so you think you can be a cook?” and I said “Of course! Why not, I can do it!”

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, this is why I am here today. There are opportunities for migrants, and everyone can work. Although we have some challenges, as migrants. Also I had some fear of being different, and looking different with black 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. 

“I’m proud that I’m working, I see myself progressing every day”

My coach at Manpower helped me with training so that I can work towards being a chef. Every day in my current position in the catering kitchen I am doing different things, so I really see myself progressing. I am really so happy, and I have a vision for my future. 

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