Refugees of London: Yohana


Breaking Barriers

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Yohana from our BB Futures programme about her “dream job” and the barriers she faced to employment. Yohana, originally from Eritrea, is currently on placement at Mayer Brown working as a CSR Assistant. 
How did you come to be in contact with Breaking Barriers.

I researched ‘how to get help if you’re a refugee with finding work?’. Although I tried with multiple other organisations, I didn’t get anywhere. Until I contacted Breaking Barriers.

Who at Breaking Barriers did you have contact with? How did they help you?

Suzanne – she was very patient and put me at ease straight away. She gave me enough information that was accurate and helped with my confidence.

How would you describe your experience with the advice and guidance service that is provided?

My experience was, I felt like everything was very smooth. I could trust you guys. Because we built up trust, so it was excellent.

What barriers did you feel were preventing you from accessing work commensurate with your skills or aspirations?

It took almost a year to be granted asylum. I went to Sudan, France and then the UK. The most obvious barrier I faced when applying for jobs in the UK was that I did not have enough information; it’s a whole different way of applying here than back home. Also, language was a barrier. I had to retrain my ears – although I spoke English, I didn’t get it completely right at first.

How do you feel that Breaking Barriers has contributed to your current employment situation?

In every way. If I hadn’t met you guys, I would’ve had a whole different journey. My experience with Breaking Barriers has been a very positive one; I am currently on placement doing my dream job (working at Mayer Brown), and I am looking towards the future.