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Three years ago Ken made the decision to sell his King Country farm and move to the outskirts of Hamilton.
With a lot more time on his hands, he approached Volunteering Waikato to find opportunities to give back to his community.
Ken was connected with the Red Cross Pathways to Employment team in Hamilton who recognised that his networks and willingness to build strong relationships with employers would be an excellent asset.
Within a year, Ken has managed to help 14 former refugees find work.
“It’s very time consuming, door knocking, interviewing people, helping them get a license, and keeping in touch with them,” he says.
“It’s very rewarding though; when I got the first person a job I think I was more excited than the job seeker.”
Keeping in touch with employers and employees is a key part of Ken’s success.
“I’m always calling in on them, the first thing I say is that if anything goes wrong they should call me or Red Cross so I can help them out,” he says.
“I keep in touch with them for a couple of weeks until I’m satisfied they’re settled and then check-in sporadically, maybe every month or so.”
Employment is an important part of the resettlement journey and Ken can see the difference it makes when a former refugee gets the job they’re after.
“There is a job out there for everybody; it’s just a matter of finding the right one for them.”
If you're an employer with an available position please contact out Pathways to Employment team here.