“Imagine being forced to leave your home country, to drop all your plans and start again somewhere entirely new.”  

Born in the Afghan capital, Abdul Ghafur Maryani, left his country to come to Greece back in 2015.  

“My life in Afghanistan was very challenging. I had been working since I was kid to help out my parents. This is why I left my home. I wanted to come to Greece to be able to support my family in a better way as my father who recently died had been very ill for the past years,” Abdul Ghafur says. 

Abdul Ghafur has been living in Schisto camp in Greece and says that he is very used to life there as he knows almost everyone.  

Abdul Ghafur was informed by the IOM team at Schisto about a firefighter training in which he quickly decided to enroll.  

“Who would ever imagine that the firefighter training I followed recently, would be my passport to my future in Greece.  Once I finished the course and in a bid to find a job, the camp manager at Schisto gave my CV to a factory that specializes in turbocharger services and spare parts for ships. I went there for an interview and as soon as the employer saw that I had underwent the firefighter training, he quickly became interested. It is an important asset when working on ships or in the factory,” Abdel Ghafer says. 

“Two days later, I got the job and was even appointed as the focal point for fire emergency. I have been working there for five months now. Time indeed flies.”  

Since Abdel Ghafur had no previous experience in the field of turbocharger services, he explained that along with the training he receives at work, he likes to also practice in the afternoon when he gets back home.   

“As soon as I get off work I come home and watch videos. We work with turbines and other spare parts for ships which you can understand requires a lot of knowledge which I didn’t have before.” 

Abdel Ghafur, also participated in a theoretical language and intercultural course conducted by IOM  which he said helped him a lot with his Greek language.  

“Even though I spoke a little bit of Greek due to previous occasional jobs I did, I was able to learn and even inquire about terminologies useful in my everyday life,” he said.  

“I have been practicing a lot at work now as many of my colleagues are Greek and this is very helpful.  For a refugee, learning the Greek language is a very important step for a smooth adaptation,” he added. 

Abdel Ghafur’s dream now is to find a house outside the site of Schisto and lead a normal life like every person.  

“My boss at the factory gave me one piece of advice that ever since is stuck on my mind, ‘If you learn the job, your life here will change.’ It couldn’t be more true!”  

All the integration programs of the Recovery Fund are implemented through the cooperation of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum (Integration Sector), which belongs to the portfolio of the Deputy Minister Ms. Sofia Voultepsi, along with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the general coordinator is the Brigadier General Dr. Calliope Saini.

The training which is implemented within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” with funding from the European Union NextGenerationEU aims at the promotion of social integration and raising awareness among beneficiaries of international protection residing in accommodations sites through capacity building and their inclusion into a holistic framework of civil protection.