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From Refugee to Aid Worker: Lava’s Story


Meet Lava a refugee from Syrian Kurdistan who now works with us

Lava is from Syrian Kurdistan. For 15 years, she lived in Aleppo, Syria, where she led an active life: she got married, studied economics, and taught music lessons. She also belonged to a local women’s organization because she wanted to help others—particularly young girls—in her community. But in 2013, conflict damaged her home and forced her to leave Syria.

“I really suffered from this experience. My husband came to Iraqi Kurdistan a few weeks before me and it was very hard for him; it wasn’t easy to be accepted. At first we didn’t know the language and we couldn’t find jobs. We lived in the Domiz camp. This experience was deeply shocking—the living conditions, the psychological state of the people—it was terrible. Now it’s easier. I learned the language here, and although it took me several months, I found a job, first as an English teacher and now with Action Against Hunger in Erbil.” - Lava, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene team member, Action Against Hunger – Iraqi Kurdistan.

Her first professional experience before joining our team was essential for Lava because, as she explains, it allowed her to feel accepted. “When I was teaching children, I felt good,” she says. “With children, there are no issues of language or origin. I taught them English and they taught me Kurdish. When people unite, they can overcome all the rest”.

Read more: From Refugee to Aid Worker: Lava’s Story

Written by: Florian Seriex (USA)


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