Nauras and Ebi have had a lot to contend with in their young lives as their families fled difficulties in the Middle East to start again in Germany. Both are now focused on the future after learning cooking and life skills through a course backed by the European Social Fund.
The MYK4International project provides an innovative course set in the hotel and catering sector. The goal is to offer disadvantaged young people training that will increase their chances of getting a job. Guided learning and working visits to France form part of the training package.
Along with acquiring job skills, participants get the chance to embrace new cultural and social experiences while learning a foreign language. The project also provides regular checks on students’ vocational, personal and social skills development.
“We can go as far as we want, nothing is standing in our way.”
Nauras’s family moved to Germany from Iraq because of political reasons. Ebi underwent a similar life-changing experience when his family fled Iran. Both faced difficult times trying to settle and find direction in their new home.
MYK4International has helped turn things around. They took part in the project catering course, which involved learning the basics at the Gastronomic Training Centre in Koblenz followed by a six-week stint of cooking in France. The training opened up all kinds of new cultural as well as learning experiences.
“The most difficult part for me was that I did not know what to expect in France,” says Ebi. “But that disappeared on the first day I arrived.”
“The project is called ‘Seize your opportunity’ for a reason,” adds Nauras. “I thankfully seized mine and it changed my future. Otherwise I would not be where I am today – about to complete my exams.”
Nauras loves cooking but also the feeling of independence the course has given her. “Cooking is my future,” she says. “Now, all opportunities are open to me – I can stand on both legs, not just one but both.”
Ebi adds: “I want to get as far as possible. Maybe be a Michelin-star Chef or become famous, who knows. We can go as far as we want, nothing is standing in our way.”