When Seedy Saidykhan came to Germany as a refugee in 2016, he knew he wanted to make things work. Despite many obstacles, the 20-year old has come a long way. He founded an informative website for migrants and is now an outspoken supporter of integration.
Seedy is in his second year in Germany, but many people cannot believe how fast he has integrated.
“There are many refugees like me who are well-educated and really want to integrate; they want to work and to restart their lives, but they face many obstacles,” Seedy told InfoMigrants.
One of the main issues: getting diplomas and qualifications recognized in Europe. “This can be very difficult but with determination, you can make it work,” he says encouragingly.
Seedy knows what he is talking about. In Gambia, he was training to become a sports journalist but had no formal degree. His refugee status in Germany is not finalized yet. Despite the odds, he managed to get an apprenticeship and is now doing training in business administration. Next year, he wishes to continue to university to study migration studies.
A role model for refugees
Besides his professional training, Seedy is active in various media projects. For one, he is a member of “Migration heute”, a radio project about migration and cultural diversity. He is also a contributing reporter for #RadioGlobalOIdenburg, a similar radio project about integration and intercultural exchange. On April 13, he and his team received the Oldenburg Integration Prize from the mayor for their work on the station.
Because Seedy wanted to provide other migrants with useful information, he also founded a platform called “What’s on Italy,” a Facebook and YouTube channel that aims to provide information and updates about migration and refugee topics. He has also streamed Facebook live sessions where he shares his tips and ideas.
Seedy sees himself as a role model for other refugees and migrants in the city. “I go to refugee camps to provide information on the asylum process and to talk to them about their rights.”
What can help facilitate integration?
“To successfully integrate refugees into the society, there must be cordial contact between the newly arrived and the people of the host country,” Seedy explains. Integration must be seen as a mutual movement, from the host community to the refugees and from the community to the refugee.” His idea is to focus on bringing refugees and locals together to achieve a vibrant exchange.
Seedy says for many migrants like himself, the biggest priority is to work and restart their lives in their new country. “Employment offers them the possibility to find their place in their new city and integrate into the social, economic and human project of the host country. It opens up new horizons for themselves and their children. Those children are the future youth with an immigrant background.”