For refugees, integration into the local community can be a solution to their plight and a chance to build a new life. Montenegro placed integration high on the policy agenda, with the aim of rendering refugees economically productive and self-reliant, all the while programming assistance in a way that respects their dignity.
When Soheil came to Montenegro he crossed paths with Pedja, an owner of a production house, who brought Soheil into the world of events management and production. Community support means everything to Soheil, as his integration was largely facilitated by the people he met on the journey. In the small workshop and in the large warehouse Soheil is hard at work on technical repairs, equipment management and addressing the various needs of clients.
“Working in the tech production requires a lot of skills and you have to know everything – from physical jobs to mechanics, software and repairing. However, it all pays off once you have created a harmony between sound and light,” said Soheil.
When speaking about his life and job in Montenegro, gratitude permeates through his words.
“Montenegro is a beautiful country, I enjoy it for the weather, culture and people. One part of the paradise is Montenegro I can say to be honest. As you call it, your country is “domaći” (authentic). It’s a good country.”
As the end of a decade is marked by a new record high in the forced displacement globally (79.5 million), integration within the host community is often a life-saving option for those who are unable to return home. When host communities accept refugees with an open mind and a sympathetic approach, refugees are empowered to rebuild their lives and give back, socially and economically, to those who welcomed them with the open arms.
By Ana Puljiz | 3 December 2020