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The Refugees caring for the elderly in Hungary

The Refugees caring for the elderly in Hungary


Rita Joy Osazee, a Nigerian refugee and Radwa al Nazer from Syria have been taking an age care training course at the Albert Schweitzer Reformed Elderly Home in Budapest, Hungary.

The training programme was organized by MigHelp, an NGO that aims to help refugees and migrants find employment by equipping them with skills to boost their chances of getting jobs.

The course includes 110 hours of lectures and practice.

“I’m not a caregiver of kids. But if you tell me to take care about elderly people, oh, I like it! I don’t know why, I don’t know. I just love it!” said Osazee.

“I am happy to see them here. I know that they want to learn. If I can, I help them,” said Ilona Karpati, a 93-year-old resident at the home, who also says she enjoys practicing English with them.

Osazee was a fruit trader back in Nigeria before traffickers lured her to Greece.

She says she made a difficult journey to safety and came to Hungary in 2015. She works at a restaurant part-time and plans to concentrate on caring for the elderly in the future.

“I want to take care of the elderly people here. This is what I want to do in life. Just taking care of them, if possible, if God blesses me, just to have a place where elderly people can come, and I’d help them,” said Osazee.

By caring for others, the refugees are starting to put behind them the difficult experiences that forced them to flee their homes.

Al Nazer and her family fled Syria four years ago because of war. She also teaches Arabic and does artwork in Hungary.

Al Nazer’s family chose to come to Hungary because her father had studied medicine in the country and speaks Hungarian.

“I feel like a member here, not like a volunteer or someone just on a course. I feel like all, like my grandma and grandpa,” she said.

“The main point is to grant them asylum, to accept the refugees. If they accept them, they would give back,” said Osazee.

Osazee, says she spent 15 months in Bicske reception centre, about 35 kilometers west of Budapest, before Hungary granted finally her asylum in 2016.

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