Voices from the field

Former InZone-tutor Fartun Abass interviewed by the moderator for the World of Work Summit


Transcription of interview with Fartun, refugee at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya
For World of Work High-Level Event 105th ILC, June 9, 2016
Working here, all my life in refugee camp, I see myself as a refugee but who is capable of improving their lives after going out of the refugee camp and being somewhere in life.

Nozipho Mbanjwa, CNBC journalist:
That sounds to me fantastic. Thank-you for sharing. Your story is very, very interesting. And one of the key things I keep hearing you talking about is the importance of education. Do you think that education is an important tool for young people to be able to get into the workplace?

F: Yes, yes, I think because I am also a representative of youth. As I’m talking right now, I’m not speaking for myself only, I’m speaking for other youth who are going through the same channel I’m going through right now. I’m also engaging in a lot of volunteer jobs in the refugee camp, helping out others, listening to views of other youth: how they think about their life in refugee camp, how they are handling a lot of the challenges they are going through. Some are even going through more challenges than me, because it’s always a different story, coming together in a refugee camp. So they are trying a lot. Some are going to school. They know that it’s not only the life of Kakuma (refugee camp), they are preparing their whole life after that, going out of the refugee camp. So we believe that education is the channel, way out of refugee camp, because we believe that when we go for our country or other countries that we can be somebody in front of others through education.

N: If you could speak to the leaders in the world, government leaders and private sector leaders, what would you want them to focus on that you think would make the future for young people in the workplace better, especially for young people in difficult situations, like you?

F: I would request education to make it easier for the student to go, because through the challenges I went through I don’t want others, youth to go through similar challenges and difficulties I went through. After their education, those students can get a promising job or work that is promising. Because you finish 15 years of education and afterward you don’t have nothing to do with that education, only a certificate or a paper that shows you went through an education. That’s a blank, it doesn’t mean anything to them. It means something when you’ve got a job, a dream job, or a payment.

N: Fartun, education is very important to get into the workplace. But once you are in the workplace, as a young person, what would you advise the big corporates and the big organizations that are hiring young people, to make sure that they are able to attract and to keep the right talent?

F: I could think on their behalf to recruit a lot of youth on this one, because only two people working doesn’t make sense to thousands of youth who are waiting for jobs at the moment. So I could request to increase their numbers of youth and also to increase the payment, because it doesn’t make sense when you are working less than 100 dollars, and others who have similar paper or document of education having 1000 dollars or million dollars working at the same time. So I could have think about a few, like, it should be a better one, a higher payment, and also making the youth aspire to think that they can make it in life. I could also request the leaders that are now watching me to think about the refugees: how can they make the refugees, within the refugees, how can they make it better? The dream I had was to be a humanitarian. So that means I’m still - if I go up I will still come down to help the refugees. So that’s my dream.

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