Root & Branch
The path to financial independence - Faramarz Ahmadi
Faramarz Ahmadi (27) came to the refugee transit center in Worb three years ago as an Afghan refugee. There he participated in the day structure and employment program of our predecessor organization In-Limbo.
He was supported in school and was not shy about helping out with community work within our specialist groups. Ahmadi successfully passed through our step-by-step programs for professional inclusion in the first labor market: After an internship at Refugees go Solar+ (FastRunner program), Faramarz Ahmadi is now completing the three-year EFZ training as a floor parquet layer in a Root & Branch partner company, during which he is accompanied and coached by us as part of EmancipAID.
"Because of my difficult family situation, my mother had to flee from Afghanistan to Iran with my brother and me. Afghan refugees don't have it easy in Iran. Although I lived there for 20 years, I only had temporary residence papers, which I had to renew every year. Everybody has their dreams and needs, but we had no possibility to realize them. Afghans are only allowed to do manual work in Iran and are not allowed to hold executive positions.
As a teenager, I worked in an antique store, which quickly bored me. Then I found work as a solar installer, but it wasn't a real apprenticeship like they have here in Switzerland.
My little brother escaped first. He made it to Greece, where we met him later. Three years ago, my mother and I flew from Greece to Switzerland. Without my brother, he was caught and could only join us later. That was very difficult for us. Plus the uncertainty of whether or not we would be recognized as refugees in Switzerland.
It is not easy to establish a foothold in Switzerland. The quality of work is very high. But here I can achieve something through hard work - it's not arbitrary, like in Iran, where we Afghans have neither rights nor prospects. The people from Root & Branch have been by my side as coaches. They explained to me how the education system works in Switzerland and proposed me for the RGS+ program. They encouraged me, gave me hope and provided me with specific support in my search for an apprenticeship.
It is an adventure for me to constantly learn new things - Swiss German, for example! I want to successfully complete my apprenticeship and then continue my education in the field of solar technology."