"I met my mentors, Josep Maria and Lidia, at the border of France," explains Shedrack, a student in the Landing program. He was walking across the border, trying to reach a town where he believed an acquaintance could help him in his job search, when Josep Maria and Lidia saw him. "They asked if I was okay and gave me their phone number in case I returned to Spain and needed help," Shedrack explains. He assured them that he was fine and continued on his way. But when the French authorities forced him to return to Spain and he arrived in Barcelona without knowing anyone, he retrieved the phone number they had given him and contacted them.
"The first thing they did was find me a place to stay," Shedrack explains. Then, Josep Maria and Lidia, volunteers from the Foundation, took him to BarcelonActua. "I started with the most important thing in order to search for a job, language classes," he narrates. Shedrack attends the language immersion activity three times a week and also participates in the BACuinetes meetings. "The cooking activities help me to continue practicing the language, to learn about the culture and gastronomy here, and at the same time, they allow me to meet new people and expand my support network in Barcelona," emphasizes Shedrack
Shedrack's landing process had already begun, but his asylum application still needed to be processed. "The Foundation advised us on what to do and is providing us with very good support, both for me and my mentors," Shedrack admits.
Shedrack is from Nigeria and had to flee due to a well-founded fear of persecution. "They killed my sister, and my father told me that I had to leave because if something happened to me, no one could provide for the family," he recounts. Thus, Shedrack embarked on a long journey filled with violence that led him to Barcelona. "I am still awaiting the final response to my asylum application," Shedrack emphasizes. Now, although he legally could access a work contract without having a definitive resolution, in practice, fear and unfamiliarity from companies deny him that possibility.
Shedrack continues to study Spanish, and as soon as his situation allows it, he will enter the employability program. "I will be truly happy if, thanks to this program, I can finally find a job and provide for my family," he affirms. And he repeats again and again that now his life is here in Barcelona, and his greatest wish is to be able to work to help all those who have helped him and those in need. "My Catalan family, Josep Maria and Lidia, have done everything possible and more to help me, and they continue to do so. That's why now I want to help them, and all those who need it," he repeats.