Our goal is to place disadvantaged people into permanent jobs so that they get their independence back. Read some of our great success stories here.
From Pakistan, 27 years old, Junior Developer at Squirro in Zurich.
From Syria, 31 years old, now Modern Analytics Consultant at Evolusys.
That is the answer of a man who is not to be underestimated or discouraged. As a boy, Ali loved computers. So much so, he dreamed of becoming a computer programmer one day. An IT specialist by the age of twenty-five, it would take another five for Ali to find a job. This was not because of his journey from Syria to Switzerland, nor for a lack of trying, but rather because of his struggle to pursue his career within Switzerland. This struggle morphed into success once he joined Powercoders, and they provided the community and network he needed in addition to the skills he already had. Vevey is now his home, Evolusys his employer, and Ali sums it all up with the words “I am at the happiest time in my life right now.”
Lived in Pakistan, 33 years old, now Frontend Engineer at the web agency Unic in Zurich.
Bashir was leading a normal life in Pakistan, having a wife and two kids and a good job as an IT teacher. But then he had to flee because his employer JIS was part of the religious Hazara group and they were being shelled politically as well as literally.
After his arrival in Switzerland, Bashir learnt German quickly and was working as a helper at the shelter in Laufenburg where he was living. Despite a lot of effort, it was impossible for him to get into IT or any other industry - until he heard about Powercoders. Being a successful graduate of our school and an internship, the web agency Unic in Zurich offered him a full-time job as a Frontend Engineer and Bashir is now living off social welfare.
His biggest wish would be to bring his wife and children to Switzerland. As of yet, this is not possible because of travel documents.
From Sri Lanka, 38 years old, now Software Engineer at Migros Aare.
From Afghanistan, 29 years old, now Junior Software Engineer (part-time) at Cognizant in Zurich and student of informatics at Fachhochschule Rapperswil.
“Every day when I left my house, I was never sure if I will get back in the evening.”
These are the words of Izzatollah Amani who was forced to flee his home country Afghanistan as a 26 year-old and was able to take refuge in Switzerland. Here, he started a life quickly by learning German and completing two “Schnuppersemester” at the ETH Zurich. However, he wasn’t allowed to continue his studies because he couldn’t provide the required documents.
Fortunately, Izzatollah heard about Powercoders. After the 3-month bootcamp at Powercoders he was chosen by the IT-company Cognizant in Zurich and successfully completed a 12-month internship. He was offered a permanent job as a junior software engineer immediately after the internship. Now he is even allowed to continue his studies in informatics at the Fachhochschule Rapperswil while working at Cognizant part-time.
It may read a little bit like a fairytale but Izzatollah’s dream has become true: to live independent of social welfare, to continue to study in the field that is his passion and most of all: to live in a country where he is safe at last.
From Afghanistan, 29 years old, now DevOps system engineer at Swisscom.
From Syria, 35 years old, apprentice at Liip in Bern.
From Eritrea, 35 years old, apprentice at the web agency Namics in Zurich.
Semhar´s bell-like, joyous laughter is the first impression one has of her in any encounter. It is contagious, though her story is no laughing matter. She is one of those people who can turn the abhorrent into the ridiculous absurdity it actually is and keep her stride without faltering a beat.
After finding refuge in Switzerland seven years ago in October, alone with her three-month old baby daughter in Chur, all of her previous, promising perspectives took a strange turn. Suddenly, she was unemployed, in a long-distance relationship with her loving husband, separated from her first born and taking care of her newborn in a place where she was extremely isolated; by language, by fate. She set out to change the first, and luckily the second followed in time. But what a time.
While she could not yet speak German, she spoke English: armed with this small advantage she began a cross-country commute to participate in the Powercoders program. Of 147 people interviewing for that particular program, only twenty were selected: Semhar was one of those twenty souls. Powercoders dusted away the cobwebs from her mind’s eye. “I was blocked, I was not getting anywhere – and then I started with Powercoders and it just opens everything, it opened my mind, it gave me confidence, it gave me power – it gave me a way forward.” Though shall we point out, it is not every person who sees an opportunity training in Lausanne when one lives in Chur. Having now secured a home in Zürich, thanks to hard work and an internship with Namics, Semhar is now looking forward to her next challenge: her apprenticeship that begins at Namics this very October. Happily, she can raise her children in safety, helping them grow… home at last.