A good example for integration

How the integration of refugees can be successful for all involved parties shows the example of Majid Dehsangi. He is employed in our purchasing department in Attendorn and sees good chances to start an apprenticeship this summer.

Majid Dehsangi is 34 years old, married, and the first child is about to be born in the next weeks. He is a trained engineer, and in his home country Iran he worked for Siemens. Now he works in the purchasing department at our location in Attendorn/Germany, and furthermore is in a class of the vocational college in Olpe together with 17 and 18 year olds in a qualification program for an apprenticeship. He hopes to start an apprenticeship as industrial clerk, beginning in August.

What might sound like a professional step back is a huge step ahead for Majid Dehsangi: He is a refugee who in 2016 came from Iran to Germany and has lost everything. “We had to start our life here from scratch. I even don’t have access to my documents in Iran. That’s why I want to do this apprenticeship, to receive documents here. For me this means an additional qualification.” Because of their catholic belief the Dehsangi family had to flee from Iran.

The beginning in Germany was not easy for the young family. They spent six months in a refugee camp in Ibbenbüren. After that, they came to Helden, a village near Attendorn, first living in a residential container with in total 50 people, and have now moved to a small apartment. They have settled in well in the community of the village. “Both absolutely want to integrate. Majid’s wife even went to a carnival parade together with the women from Helden”, chairman of the works’ council Stefan Klose gladly says. He also lives in Helden and made the contact between Majid Dehsangi and KIRCHHOFF Automotive. Through a friend who voluntarily supports refugees he got to know the refugee family. “They are very ambitious, absolutely want to gain a foothold here.”

Since December he has been working in our purchasing department. He modestly says: “I work here as an assistant.” A colleague quickly corrects this: “He is more than an assistant. He makes a lot of technical investigations, prepares analyses together with our suppliers, procures information. At the moment he is working on our supplier data base and makes a clean-up. His logistics surveys are very good and very detailed. You see that he can support as an engineer, but even so already thinks in an economic way.”

In August he would like to begin the apprenticeship as industrial clerk. KIRCHHOFF Automotive would offer this additional vacancy in the context of refugee support. “Usually the apprentice positions are contracted out one year in advance”, Stefan Klose explains.

Also the colleagues from the purchasing department are glad about the new employee. “For us, the situation is also new. I haven’t had closer contact to a refugee”, one of them says. „From Majid, I also learn about his country, from time to time he tells something.“ For him, Majid Dehsangi is a ”prime example for someone who will be well-integrated.” Stefan Klose adds: “Moreover, he fits well into the philosophy image of KIRCHHOFF Automotive – in our international company the exchange of cultures is a huge priority.”

Majid Dehsangi wants to give it a go. “No matter how difficult your life is, there is always a way to make it successful. The main things are stamina and hope. I thank KIRCHHOFF Automotive that I have received this chance.”

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