Beyond Politics – the Human Face of Asylum

Posted on August 2, 2012

Lionel Rabie has extensive experience in the food and hospitality industry.  He put his business experience to work volunteering to provide one on one consultancy with an Asylum Seeker in Tel Aviv who was starting up a bakery business.  Through Microfy, an organization that provides training and micro loans to Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Lionel’s volunteer services impacted on one emerging businessman with a life changing story.

“When I was asked to mentor refugees I agreed with little understanding of the entire issue! This was an organization that enabled people in need to provide for themselves – that was enough for me!

Shortly after I arrived it was there was a rape by of two Israeli women – followed by protests against refugees.

I had committed myself to a charity and wanted to do something humanitarian and not get involved in the politics.

I was assigned to work with K, who had escaped with his life from a sub Saharan African country.  Although he had two degrees and had been a judge in his home country, he was now learning to survive and make a living in a new and different land. My volunteer role was to mentor K and provide assistance to him in implementing his business plan of opening a bakery.

K is an inspiring person …. his positive energy and enthusiasm against the odds was overwhelming. Talk about the power of one to educate you.  From him I got a first -hand sense of how politics disregards so much about the human story.

I was here to help others but appreciated how much this experience taught me.

As I prepare to leave Israel and return to London, I learned that Microfy has set up a consultant to continue working with K.   I should be able to introduce the two of them before I leave.

I look forward to returning and seeing all K has achieved in the bakery – those guys work so hard – they deserve every success. K is delighted about getting consultant – he needs the help. “

Lionel Rabie, London UK