Continuing our Spotlight series of refugees looking for jobs.

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Written by Federico Carrieri

Tobias is an energetic 46-year-old Cameroonian man who first landed in Switzerland in 2003, on his own, and now lives in the Canton of Geneva. He is married to a Cameroonian woman, and is a father of two.

He belongs to the English speaking part of the population of Cameroon, but started to learn French during his time in school and has strongly improved his language level while living in the Canton of Geneva – reaching a proficient level that allows him to converse with ease.

Back in Cameroon, just after high school, he was employed at Socathai SA, a joint Cameroonian and Thailandese company trading on rice, trucks, truck spare parts, and other import and export commodities, such as timber.  This company was based in the city of Limbe, which has a deep natural seaport on the Atlantic Ocean. It was there that Tobias attended a training focused on marine security and offshore security. He soon became in charge of overseeing and managing a team of trained guards in order to ensure the safety of the seaport infrastructure, its goods, and that the right safety procedures were respected while unloading the goods. He stayed in this role from 1996 till 2002, when he decided to leave his beloved country for political reasons and lack of democracy, especially towards the English-speaking minority of the local population.

When he arrived in Switzerland in 2003, he was first granted an “N permit”, allowing him to stay in Switzerland while being assisted by the state, but without the right to exercise any kind of paid work. During this period, Tobias did not feel at ease while staying in Geneva and being provided with social assistance without working. Rather, he wanted to provide his own contribution and started to look for an activity that could let him learn new useful skills for a future paid job.

This is the reason why he started in 2004 to train as a kitchen assistant with “Hospice Général” at  Anière, in the Geneva canton. After the training, he continued to provide his support there for some more years without  salary, receiving just a small indemnity that helped him to support himself together with the subsidies provided by the state. All the while, he was sending remittances of funds back home to his family in Cameroon.

By the end of 2015, Tobias had finally received an “F permit” that will eventually allow him to be an active worker and to be paid with a full salary.

Interested in continuing a career in the food industry, Tobias engaged in a June 2016 one-month training as kitchen assistant at the EMS les Franchises. Afterwards, he went on with another two months of training at IKEA, always for the same role. Within this framework, he was in charge of setting and preparing food products, taking orders from customers, storing the tools and food in the kitchen, as well as providing kitchen cleaning services.

Over the course of more than a decade in Switzerland, Tobias has showed a strong, unwavering ethic and a willingness to contribute, even when he was not ensured a full salary. While speaking with Tobias, you will note that he is serious, committed, and that he likes to be in touch with people, due to his good communication skills.

He is fully proficient in using MS Word, Excel, Windows, and Internet. For his hobbies, he enjoys riding his mountain bike, going running, and doing bricolage.

In sum, Tobias has developed a passion for service and support experiences in the kitchen environment. He is now seeking a position as a kitchen assistant while assisting with cleaning duties, so that he can achieve the goal of sustaining financially both himself and his family, and hopes to soon receive a B permit that would allow him better integration into Swiss society. He would equally be interested in a job related to some cleaning services.
Thank you for your attention to Tobias’ story, his qualifications, and his well-earned candidacy for an open position in a kitchen environment. We would very much appreciate your consideration of Tobias as a new hire who will contribute to the success of your team.


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Spotlight – Tobias

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