We are very happy to communicate that Mamadi did a three months internship in Germany, which was organized in cooperation by Associazione Interculturale Universo and migration_miteinander. The internship took place in the canteen kitchen of the Institut für Waldorfpädagogik in Witten (North Rhine-Westphalia).

How the story began…

Mamadi came to Universo by chance but it was quickly clear that it was a fluke, both for mamadi and for our association. We already had a participant who was planning to do the internship but due to missing documents and the slow bureaucracy, he was unfortunately not able to leave Italy. Therefore we had to quickly find a substitute. A very committed volunteer and former ESOP participant knew Mamadi and put him in contact with us. He came by and and we knew instantly that he would fit perfectly for the internship. Mamadi wanted to go to Germany and was highly motivated. Furthermore, he already had experience in gastronomy, since he was working in a Restaurant in Gambia for a couple of years and wanted to continue working as a chef in Germany. So his big goal was and is to do an apprenticeship in Germany.

In Italy he was living in an extremely difficult situation characterized by homelessness and and an irregular income. Tragically a situation in which a lot of refugees are forced to live in.

Therefore, the internship in Germany offered a great opportunity to him to end this situation and to take the chance to build a new future in Germany. Also we from the organization were happy to have him found, also because he already had some basic german skills.

So it was clear that his journey would start soon. We organized the insurance, bus tickets and someone to pick him up/welcoming him in Witten. Mamadi left 2 weeks later in the middle of April.

After his arrival in Witten he quickly adapted himself to the changes and the new environment. Due to his open and friendly personality but also due to the welcoming, helpful and committed colleagues everything went very well. A huge ‘thank-you’ to all his colleagues in the kitchen and the staff at the institute!

Mamadi´s daily life in Germany

Usually Mamadi was working from monday to friday from 10am to 4pm. After his shift he went to the German course or spent his free time with friends. He was living in a student residency next to his workplace, together with many other young people. Hence he made a lot of friends which helped him to feel comfortable in Witten.

Right from the beginning, Mamadi was very motivated and committed to his work and his supervisor and colleagues were more than happy with him.

His tasks included washing and cutting vegetables, preparing appetizers, main courses and desserts but also cleaning and washing dishes. He got an overview about all the different tasks and workstations in a kitchen and work in each of them for a while.

He was able to utilise his skills and knowledge from his prior work experiences. As an example: he organized and cooked gambian dishes on multiple occasions.

Time went by quickly and the internship was already coming to an end. Since Mamadi would like to stay and do an apprenticeship, we decided to support his ambitions and wishes for a future in Germany.

We translated his CV and motivation letter and sent the documents out to different restaurant, hotels and canteens. Mamadi loves the Witten/Bochum area so we decided to mainly focus on apprenticeship offers from that region.

At the moment he is waiting for responses. Luckily, we were able to already organize the first job interview and we hope that many will follow. All of the involved persons know that it is going to get very difficult with the language: Even if Mamadi finds a apprenticeship, the lack of German will make it extremely hard in the beginning, especially to follow the lessons at school. Anyway we are optimistic and we highly believe in him. We hope that he will realize his dream of becoming a chef in Germany. We wish him all the best for his future and of course we will continue to support him.