Daniel is a refugee from Eritrea who came to Sweden in 2015. Immediately upon arrival, he realized that he wouldn’t get anywhere without learning to communicate in Swedish. Observing his fellow refugees, he sees that many neglect this basic skill and expectation, either because they think they can manage with English only or because they are too mentally exhausted from the terrible things they experienced during their journey to Europe.
“Those who embark on the journey will face many obstacles on the way. But they have to prepare themselves for more challenges once they have arrived. After all they have been through they face yet another hurdle they didn’t expect.”
Daniel has a university education and had a profession in Eritrea but his training and experience were of no use whatsoever when he tried to establish himself in Sweden. He quickly learned that without knowledge of Swedish, he could not get a job. It took him years of serious effort, but he succeeded and is now working as a teach
“No matter how long it takes, education is the only way out. People have to make a sacrifice and pay whatever it costs to learn the language. That is the only way they can improve themselves and help their families.”
Daniel is an energetic person and from the very first, he took great pains to integrate himself into Swedish society. He studied the language, learned the customs of the country and participated in social events arranged by churches and civic organisations. He understands the horrors his fellow refugees have experienced and recognizes that some of them may be so traumatised that they cannot focus on integrating, at least not in the beginning. But he has little patience for those who come to Europe expecting an easy life.
“They think that as soon as they arrive here, they will get a well-paid job, that in the blink of an eye they will be able to stand on their own feet and support their families. But the fact is that it’s difficult to get a job and that it’s a long process to go through before you can stand on your own feet.”
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