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Why I love my job

Vox Pops video of why people who work with unaccompanied and separated children love their job.
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One thing that, you know, it gives me joy. Most people think, oh, she’s so committed. I mean, she loves what she does. It’s because when their child is happy, you are also happy because you know that you actually saved a life. You give hope to a child that has given up hope. Because these are children that probably, they don’t have parents. They’ve lost their parents some way or the other. Or they are children that are running away from a situation. But when you see that child after two years, three years smile, and the child calls you to say that thank you very much. You didn’t give up on me. That is what makes me happy.
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Good question, many things. Actually, I’ve been working for Casa Alianza for 19 years. And to see that I can take a small part in this great task of leading them to this self-discovery, that they are extremely valuable children, and with many abilities. To see them grow and move on to other areas, become independent, have a decent life, that is very rewarding. I really like my job. I work with boys and girls. And it’s really gratifying when they come up to you and say, thank you, because today I learned something.
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Happy is seeing the satisfaction when you can see someone make that transition from being a newly arrived asylum seeker, who perhaps doesn’t have the language, who perhaps doesn’t know about the services that are available to them, who perhaps doesn’t have the orientation of the city. And to see those people make that change and become empowered and become enabled to do things for themselves to get that confidence in another language and to be happy in the new surroundings. Well there are many things, really. Many things make me happy in this Centre. To see them move forward, from day to day. To see, for example, each of their accomplishments, I feel like it’s my own accomplishment.
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Maybe I shouldn’t see it that way, but sometimes I feel like their Dad. To see that they go to school, or when they go to the movies. For example, some of their friends have come here to play in the house. I believe that all of that, being able to see them every day and see how they get more involved in society and how society also accepts them, it’s what truly makes me happy. I believe this is why I continually keep on searching for support networks for them. So that in future, they could be… ideally, they wouldn’t be in the Centre any longer, and all of them could be independent.
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For example, meeting them on the street, and they have a job, they are well, they are stable. And I believe that smile… We have had children, really small children. And something that the children have taught me well, the younger as well as the older ones, is that all those who leave their countries, to look for a new opportunity, they were forced to grow up very quickly, they were forced to be adults. And well, seeing them play, seeing them go through their corresponding stage, like childhood or adolescence, that is great to me. What makes me happy about my job, is working with them.
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Seeing their improvements, and seeing how they, maybe, arrive as a completely different person from the one they are as they move forward. When they arrive, they are withdrawn people, who have no confidence. And as time goes by, and with the help of everyone who works here, they acquire skills. Or rather they realise, the abilities that they have. So, the simple fact that they trust you, it’s already the contribution that you are making to them, for them to be better people.

When we were developing this course, we asked different frontline workers what makes them happy about the work they do to support unaccompanied and separated children.

In this video we hear from Abena Yamoah from International Social Service, Margarita Cerón from Fundación Casa Alianza in Mexico, Abraham Cárdenas Vadillo, Director of Albergue Colibrí in Mexico, Charlotte Myers, and Mariana Paulette Morales Vega from Fundación Casa Alianza, Mexico.

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Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

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