Welcome to our series "Portraits" that pays a tribute to the impactful and often visionary work of the organisations we support.
Our "Portraits" tell the true stories of the beneficiaries our partners stand for. By presenting their lives, aspirations and challenges, we want to raise their voices so they can become an example and inspiration for social change.
Lynda the cook
Greek Council for Refugees, Greece
In this photo, Lynda looks confidently at the city of Athens that lies under her eyes. A city that she now calls home and where, little by little, her professional dreams are taking shape. But it took her a long time before feeling this sense of familiarity and peace.
Lynda comes from Algeria and since her arrival in Greece her life has been a true odyssey. Lack of job opportunities and consequent financial instability, problems with the administration, and the absence of a supportive network made her first experience in the country everything but smooth. She had to navigate through very hard times - including a period when her husband was detained for selling shoes illegally in the street and she was left alone to care for her 4-month-old daughter.
The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has played a crucial role in helping her start a new life. Through its Cosmos Employment Hub, GCR provides employment services to migrants and asylum seekers. A dedicated employment advisor helped Lynda create her CV and prepare for job interviews, while her daughter was cared for in a special child-friendly area that the NGO offers its beneficiaries. Lynda took part in several hard and soft skills training workshops and attended Greek language classes. She now speaks good Greek – an essential step for her professional and social integration.
Lynda’s passion is cooking and since her arrival in Greece she has been looking for a job in the food and hospitality industry. Last summer, GCR referred Lynda to a catering company where she started to work as a cooking assistant. In September, she was offered a permanent contract.
Although she has managed to already achieve a big success, this is just the beginning of her career. Now Lynda dreams of opening a Greek-Algerian restaurant in Athens, where she could mix the flavours of her homeland with those of her adoptive country.
The Trafigura Foundation is supporting GCR's Cosmos Employment Hub. This is a centre where refugees, asylum seekers and migrants receive job readiness consultations, intensive language courses, skills development sessions, entrepreneurship seminars and job placement support.
Discover more here