Making a hobby your job

Akram: “I’m already 35, I have no diplomas and I don’t speak Dutch well yet. It is difficult to find a study or a job.”

Match Akram nieuw featured

I remember the first conversation with Ali, my matcher at NewBees. He is also a newcomer and speaks Arabic. By means of a card game we discovered together which talents I have, where my ambition lies. In Syria I worked as a sports trainer. Sports is my hobby.

When Ali arranged a job interview for me at Family Fitness, a gym in Utrecht, I could hardly believe it. I dream of a stable life in which my hobby becomes my work. A job, a house, not depending on benefits anymore. Through Family Fitness I may get the opportunity to follow a sports trainer training. This internship is the first step towards my dream. I work three days a week and give group lessons to the elderly and children.

My Dutch has improved since I started working here. My vocabulary and as well as my self-confidence have grown. Every day I learn something new. Good command of the language is essential. Now it still feels like a barrier.

The gym is temporarily closed due to Corona. Ali calls me regularly and asks how I am doing. Should this internship end, NewBees won’t let me down. They will help me find something else. I am not alone.”

Curious about more portraits of newcomers? In our Hot off the press magazine eight newcomers share their stories. Would you also like to read our magazine? Download our magazine here:

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