About us Meet Elif — the newest addition to Valeriana team

In 1961, Germany and Turkey concluded an agreement that would lead to 900,000 Turkish guest workers coming to Germany over the course of the next 12 years, counteracting both widespread unemployment in Turkey as well as Germany’s labour shortage. One of these guestworkers was Elif’s grandfather. Because of her family’s migration background, the issue of integration has always been a matter very close to her heart. And we at Valeriana are, of course, delighted that Elif will start sharing her valuable expertise as well as a lot of heart and soul with us as a volunteer! In this sense: Hoş geldin to the team, Elif! 
Before Elif’s and Valeriana’s paths crossed, Elif studied International Management Studies in Flensburg. Even then, she had a passion for equality, working on a project whose goal was to increase the visibility of women in the start-up scene alongside her studies. In June 2020, she came to Switzerland because she had the brilliant idea of moving to a new country in the middle of a pandemic… and to work with EDGE Strategy to achieve more gender equality in the workplace. 
More by chance than anything else, Elif and Bora met on LinkedIn earlier this year and quickly realised that they were a match made in (digital) heaven. Since the end of April, Elif has been supporting us as a volunteer in all tasks having to do with our integration work.

“When I first found out about Valeriana, I thought: ‘Nice, empowerment through work, free German classes and community activities.’ I think this is exactly the right way to help people integrate into society.” For Elif’s mother, too, household chores played a major role in her integration into German society. As a housekeeper, she built new, long-lasting relationships, improved her language skills and got to know and love German food. However, back then, Elif’s mother still had to search the weekly newspaper for vacancies. Elif likes the Valeriana platform in particular because it is a place where all sides and interests can come together via a single interface. And because she herself knows both sides, she gives it her all (including the aforementioned expertise and heart and soul) so that even more people can feel welcomed into society with open arms, just like her mother back then. 
Would you too like to support Valeriana with your time and energy? We’re always happy to receive volunteering requests at hallo@valeriana.ch


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