A chef from Ghana and a student of economics from Sri Lanka and Argentina gave an appointment in Lebanon without knowing it. There they met, they fell in love, they returned to their respective countries, but they never separated actually and ended up in Lebanon again, where their daughter Jennifer was born. The 24-year-old Jennifer Adjei, who speaks Arabic, French, English, Greek, understands Spanish and is learning Russian, works as an interpreter for SolidarityNow’s accommodation program in Athens.
Jennifer was introduced to Greece in 2009, when she moved at age 14, along with her parents from Lebanon. The reason for the family relocation was nothing else but more job opportunities for the parents but also respectively more opportunities for little Jennifer, better studies and later better work conditions and environment. Her model is her father – “He always wanted both for my mother and me, to be free to choose what we want to do. So, I also learned from him and my mother to work hard and believe in myself”.
Her initial dream was to become an environmentalist; however, Jennifer finally chose to study nursing. “I think I chose it for a reason. I always loved my grandmother from Argentina so much, but I didn’t have the chance to take care of her when she needed it. That’s why when I did my training as a nurse, I was very happy to help older people, it felt as if I was taking care of my grandmother in a way”. Nursing led Jennifer to find out her wider tendency to offer assistance to the most vulnerable. Her first job was in a humanitarian organization, where her role was focused on the psychosocial empowerment of women who arrived in Greece as refugees or migrants. There, she also realized her increased sensitivity towards women “they must definitely know their rights, claim them with dignity and leave places where they are not respected“, she says.
“By being on the side of women I learned a lot – I realized there are other realities out there, not just the one I live or have learned. I changed with them. Now, I feel even stronger in my desire to support my sex and to help women overcome their fears. This is something I try to do with my work today as an interpreter at SolidarityNow, which I love, and through it my aim is to support women who want to change and improve their lives. A new life, that unfolds in the western world”.
*The SolidarityNow Accommodation program is part of the ESTIA-Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR GREECE) and funded by the EE.