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Country experiences:

An own grocery store

I'm 36 years old, from Tunisia, and my name is Wissem. I lived in Europe for a total of 15 years. It was my dream to have a good job there and start a family. But neither of these worked out. Now I've found happiness in my homeland, Tunisia. Back then I wouldn't have thought that possible.

I travelled to Italy and France in 2002 and spent most of my time there working in retail. However, since I didn't obtain legal status, I went to Germany and applied for asylum there. When this was declined, I decided to return to my homeland.

But starting again in Tunisia was very difficult, I had been away for a long time. I didn't find it easy to adjust because everything had changed. And I didn't have a clue about my career opportunities. So in April 2018 I went to the "German-Tunisian Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration" in Tunis. The advisors there referred me to a German call centre. I had learned Italian and German during my time abroad, which made this possible. I was able to convince them and was given a job, with a regular employment contract, social security benefits and holidays.

In addition, the Tunisian employment agency ANETI put me into a start-up programme. My dream was to open a grocery store in my neighbourhood. I managed that: I now run my own little supermarket. Today I can say I'm doing much better than during my time in Europe. I have finally found my vocation. My head is clear here in Tunisia, I have a well-ordered life and my plan for the future has worked out. 

Today I can say I'm doing much better than during my time in Europe. I have finally found my vocation. My head is clear here in Tunisia, I have a well-ordered life and a plan for the future. That makes me happy.

As of 03/2020

It took some time, but now I'm happy. The journey back was worthwhile!
Wissem, Tunisia

Further opportunities

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  • Help for women in need

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  • Online course in computer science

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  • Starting up an IT business

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  • Mentors for business start-ups

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  • Investments in companies

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