Originally from the Netherlands

Catering Assistant at Baxterstorey kitchen in the Netherlands

Maryam's Story

We learned that even though they are refugees and have been through traumatic events, they came here and saw an opportunity to work with us, and they took it. They worked very hard, and within time, they become just like my other colleagues - one of the staff. Alisat is learning a trade from us, but we learn as much from her; we have learned about self-respect, self-empowerment, and so much more.

“I really think it’s an investment for a business to hire a migrant”

The pressure here in the kitchen is very high, it’s important to have staff who can deal with this pressure. It’s an interesting challenge to deal with the daily pressure, but also to learn how to work with people from different backgrounds- it’s not only language, but to reach an understanding beyond words, to ensure that we all understand each other. Obviously refugees have been through so many other challenges, but we don’t see it in the kitchen, they strive to work just like my other colleagues.

Before meeting refugees through The Next Step project, I was aware of the unfortunate situations in their home countries, but we didn’t really understand how they view the Netherlands through their eyes -the language, looking for work, how to work. But really, they are just like us, people who need to work hard for a living, who are looking for opportunities.

It’s not only a nice experience, I really think it’s an investment for a business to hire a migrant. In my opinion, when you give a chance to a refugee, they work even harder than local candidates. Because they have to prove themselves 10 times more than someone who already has the diploma or training, they give everything to the job. That’s not something that you always find, even in local staff. The customers to the kitchen see a new face, and are curious who Alisat is, when they learn that she was a refugee, there is a lot of respect for her. It changes mind-sets that she is not just a refugee - she is a colleague, a caterer and someone with ambitions.

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