Providing opportunity for refugees in London

Giving By Emily Larson Jan 23, 2020

What if you had to suddenly pack your bags, leave everything you know and love behind and move to a foreign land – with limited knowledge of what awaits you? For Sarah, this was her reality.

At age 22, Sarah arrived in London from her native Pakistan. After nearly four years of unforeseen challenges, Sarah applied for refugee status in the United Kingdom. She spent her days fighting for a better life for her and her son. Then a close friend introduced her to a local nonprofit, Breaking Barriers.

Breaking Barriers connects refugees in London with the skills and assets needed to find jobs that fit their abilities. The Western Union Foundation works with and helps fund Breaking Barriers to provide job opportunities for refugees seeking opportunities in the financial industry. For Sarah, Breaking Barriers was the safety net that provided a sense of security and the promise of prosperity. She quickly gained valuable skills that gave her the self-confidence to land a job – with Western Union.

Sarah says, “This opportunity has given me more than work experience. I actually feel like myself again. Confident to talk to people and outgoing.” For Sarah, this was more than just a job. It represented a milestone of success after years of perseverance against great odds. Working at Western Union has helped give her the self-esteem, knowledge, and ability to realize her dreams.

The Western Union Foundation values its partnership with Breaking Barriers. Together, we help people like Sarah transform from being vulnerable and at risk to having the confidence and independence to seize the limitless opportunities ahead.

Read other stories like Sarah’s and the work of the Foundation in our wrap-up Education for Better report. Learn more about our current commitment, Opportunity Beyond Borders, here and follow us on Twitter for the latest news.