Project ERIAS – examples of positive integration in the labour market

Kays Ahmad is 29 and was born in the North part of Afghanistan. He arrived to Bulgaria in 2016. Kays still remembers the date when he was granted a refugee status and started his new life in Bulgaria. He had many challenges at the beginning. His first destination was Norway. At that time, he considered Bulgaria only as a crossing country. Latter Kays appreciated the good nature, the people, the weather, the rather cheap life in the Balkan country.

Now he is working in a call center. He is also member of Refugee Advisory Board as a UNHCR-Led Initiative which was established in June 2020. He is also working as social mediator and translator at the Center of Legal Aid - Voice in Bulgaria. He likes to be busy and effective in the Bulgarian community. In the time of the pandemic he is working from his home. Currently he is happy with his jobs but doesn`t consider working all his life at one and the same place. His plans go beyond the office work and spread in international trade.

He has a high school diploma and has passed three and a half years in Balkh University in Afghanistan studding English literature. He speaks English, Pashto, Dari, Persian and some Hindi. His Bulgarian is still basic but Kays has plans to develop further his language skills.

In 2018 he was acquainted with the local Afghan community in Sofia and since then keeps a good and lively contact with friends from this community. Though he has never been out of the capital for pleasure he likes Bulgaria because of the people that are very nice, friendly and hospitable. He finds many common features between Afghans and Bulgarians – both nations being warm and friendly.

Kays says openly that he knows well what is it to be waiting for an answer from the State Agency for Refugees about your future, being frustrated and disappointed by the bad living conditions in a refugee campus. Thus, he appreciates the opportunity to have descent work and life now.

His advices for other new commers to Bulgaria /refugees, asylum seekers, etc. / are: to be patient from the day the person reigisters in migration system until he/she receives a decision on his/her status; one can easily apply for and receive working permission after three motnhs of the legal stay and to start looking for a job at the refugee campus; the knowledge on Bulgarian language is not a must to be hired.



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Project ERIAS – examples of positive integration in the labour market
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