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Meet the Winter 2021 Class

📸. William Lounsbury

During this class, we were incredible lucky and grateful for the photography of William Lounsbury. William volunteered to take professional headshots of participants and during one of the sessions. William is a documentary photographer working primarily in portraiture and reportage to share people’s stories. He works with Witness Change, an NGO using visual storytelling to support marginalized groups to share their stories.

Learn more about his work here.

Together with these excellent photos, we are thrilled to share more about the motivated participants in Winter 2021 Amsterdam class.

Motea (Yemeni, 41)

Motea has an academic background in computer science, having achieved his Bachelors and his Masters from Iraq in Computer Networking. He lived in Malaysia for 14 years where he received his PhD in wireless communications and network engineering. In the Netherlands, Motea has struggled to find a job that goes in line with his academic specialization. He remains very motivated and determined to get a job in the technology sector.

Mamadou (Gambian, 32)

Mamadou has an extensive background in sales in his home country. He started his career in Gambia as a sales and marketing agent for his family business. He also as experience in entrepreneurship, having started an import export company with support from his family. In the the Netherlands, he has worked at Zara as a sales associate for few months before enrolling in language school for the integration program. He would like to develop his digital skills by launching a career in Salesforce.

Zam (Azerbaijani, 36)

Zam came to the Netherlands as a political refugee in 2019. Her career has been in journalism and business strategy development. During the last five years, she was jumping from one country to another to find a safe home and to put her career back on track. She is now focused on learning more technical skills to prepare for the job market. She hopes her new Salesforce skills will help her compete a high tech country like the Netherlands.

Shaker (Palestinian, 25)

Shaker came to the Netherlands in March 2019 as a refugee with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He tried find a job to begin his career as an accountant but unfortunately it was hard to find anything. He has been working as a part time sales assistance but he does not see his future there. He is now eagerly looking to launch his career as a software developer and is teaching himself SQL and programming.

Teklehaimanot (Eritrean, 31)

Teklehaimanot studied computer science in his home country. He is currently working as a data-professional since 2019 for Do Good Only Company. He has also joined the Netherlands Red Cross as a data science volunteer. He is interested in data visualization, machine learning, data cleaning & analysis using python.

Aya (Egyption, 34)

Aya worked as a technical officer engineer (civil engineer) for two years in Cairo, Egypt. She also brings 8 years of Sales Engineer experience from the steel structural field. She came to Netherlands 4 years ago and is keen to develop her career in cloud engineering or programming.

Malik (Yemeni, 28)

Malik studied communication engineering n Yemen. He was forced to leave his home country soon after receiving his bachelor’s degree. Malik come to the Netherlands about 2 years go. He has found a passion for Salesforce and has dedicated his full attention to learning the platform.

Davut (Turkish, 26)

Davut has had the interest in IT since he graduated from an IT high school in Turkey. He has been living in Rotterdam with his wife for 2 years. Davut believes that technology is key to remain competitive in the Dutch labor market. Once he heard about Salesforce, he started learning on his own, watching tutorials on YouTube and achieving a number of badges on Trailhead.

Osama (Yemeni, 40)

Osama has been in the Netherlands for 9 months. He comes with a strong background in IT and CRM integrations. He is currently living with his family in the AZC. While learning Dutch, he is also following online courses on SAP and programming.

📸. William Lounsbury

Sherin (Uyghur, 33)

Sherin has been living in the Netherlands for 2 years. She has received her asylum status and is looking for new job opportunities. She has a strong interest for a career in technology.

Sadek (Syrian, 33)

Sadek studied BA and master in international public and private law in Syria. He has a strong love for computer sciences, automation, and IoT. Despite having a different academic background, he’s made a complete and well-thought transition towards technology. He’s worked as Salesforce developer and has a very strong passion to follow the RefugeeForce training program to shape his plan even further. He arrived in the Netherlands 5 years ago and has since been involved in programming and programming language courses. He believes that Salesforce has very high potential in the CRM market, and he wants to be part of this success.

Gideon (Nigerian, 30)

Gideon has been in the Netherlands for one year. He was working as an orthodontist assistant at the University teaching hospital Ekiti State in Nigeria. He later joined the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp where he worked as a security agent. Gideon now wants to broaden his tech knowledge and learn more tech skills which would enable him have a better career and also help him integrate socially and economically.




RefugeeForce invests in the skilled, motivated, and diverse asylum seeker and status holder population who struggle to find employment matching their interests, experience, and ambitions.

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Gaspar Rodriguez

Gaspar Rodriguez

Possibilist. Salesforce MVP and Golden Hoodie Winner. Founder @ Blue Road.

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