Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' London, Ontario, Canada

Safwan is a civil engineer with 25 years of experience, but he cannot work in his profession in Canada, without a Canadian engineering certificate and work experience in the country:

"I challenged myself and I worked as an Uber driver only to improve my English, to get out of the house, and to make some money. I am also thinking of taking courses at Fanshawe College to improve within my profession or change my career. This would have a financial impact on the whole family, but I am still thinking of developing myself here, even though I am 54 years old.

Caroffice by Don Harder is licensed under CC BY NC 2.0

I know a lot of Syrian refugees who are doctors and are still unable to find a way to enter the job market. They need special courses and an acceptance of their education and skills. That is the role of the Canadian government is to take advantage of these doctors’ experiences and use it to improve society and their way of integration. In my opinion, I feel that some Canadians reject this type of integration and experiences, and they do not want (these newcomers) to enter the workplace and job market."

More work is required to ensure that refugees can find relevant and fulfilling work within their host nations.  This toolkit offers a practical guide to the assessment and recognition of refugee qualifications, to advise organisations and individuals who must evaluate refugees with what the report terms 'inadequately documented qualifications'. 


This extract is from an interview conducted by SUZAN ILCAN during 2019 as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.