Breaking Barriers: Enabling refugees for a better future

Go Global By Emily Larson March 6, 2020

The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to supporting the most vulnerable people, like refugees. Through our Opportunity Beyond Borders funding initiative, we are focusing on empowering individuals who have been forcibly displaced with the training and education needed to succeed in today’s technology-driven global economy. We see the challenge –lack of access to education and equal opportunity – so we partner with organizations around the world who are committed to providing critical skills to connect individuals to the global economy for a chance at a better life.

One Western Union Foundation partner addressing these challenges is Breaking Barriers, a London non-profit that enables refugees to acquire the knowledge, confidence, and experience they need to secure stable and fulfilling jobs. They offer bespoke, intensive and flexible employment support to assist individuals to integrate in the UK and create fulfilling lives. The Western Union Foundation has supported Breaking Barriers over the past few years, through funding for employment, UK job market, and education programmes.

All year long, the Western Union Foundation celebrates women across the globe who are making an impact. One of these women is Breaking Barriers’ volunteer education teacher, Margreet. She has played an integral part in the education program in supporting countless clients to continue to thrive on their path to self-sufficiency. Margreet empowers people from refugee backgrounds in their training, to get them closer to their employment and integration goals in the UK.

Margreet has been volunteering with Breaking Barriers since 2017. She has taught over 100 clients, through her English and IT & Numeracy classes through an incredible 192 hours volunteered.

 “I used to teach English in the past, and when I joined a class as a teaching assistant for Breaking Barriers, I realised I’d missed teaching and asked if they were looking for more volunteer teachers. Luckily for me, they were, and I started a Business English course not long after. It’s been a wonderful experience, and the classes are something I look forward to each week. The students are motivated and the atmosphere in the classes is great. People work hard, are very supportive of one another, and there’s a lot of humour in the classes. I enjoy having people come back for more advanced courses and seeing how much they’ve improved, hearing about them finding a job or getting into university. The Breaking Barriers staff, teachers and advice and guidance volunteers are making a real difference in people’s lives and I feel proud to be part of that.”

Read what some of Margreet’s students have to say about her, and the incredible impact she has made on their lives and their futures.

“Margreet has given me the skills to use the internet on my own. I am now a modern woman in the community. Margreet continues to light the light in people’s lives. She has been a shining light in my life.” – Elizabeth

“Like all Breaking Barriers staff, Margreet is a wonderful person. She is one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever met. Her smiles and support have encouraged me a lot. I am really happy for being taught by her.” – – Abdu

“Margreet is a wonderful, smiling teacher who gives optimism when she is with us. She is nice, and she is sincere in her work. Happy International Women’s Day to Margreet.”- Mohammed

“Margreet has made me feel more confident in using Microsoft Office for work and in my personal life. She is very supportive and friendly and always makes sure that each student is receiving the best support possible” – Huda

Share stories like Margreet’s to inspire others and advocate for those who can’t. Learn more about the Western Union Foundation and our mission here. Follow us on Twitter @TheWUFoundation.