New Beginning -
Strengthening of Young Roma Families, The press conference
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New Beginning

Suzana Marinkovic attended the vocational training for a cook at the Kasina Hotel restaurant within the project “Empowering young Roma families”. As a result of the hard work and diligence she had shown during the course, she got the job in this Belgrade’s restaurant, immediately after graduation.

Suzana lives in Belgrade with her 13 years old daughter as a single mother. She has completed elementary school. By the time she was given the chance to participate in the project, Suzana had worked as a hospital serving staff. She was satisfied but still wanted to change something and do what she loved to do – cook and prepare meals in the kitchen. Suzana had been working various jobs before that, in order to provide a better life for her daughter. She wanted for her daughter to continue education and enroll a high school.

When she found out about the project, she contacted the project team members who interviewed her. Suzana met the conditions for joining the project and she showed high motivation. She chose the course for a cook because it had always been her great desire.

 “I could have never imagined that I would have a chance to study something that is my life’s desire. I could not afford it,” says Suzana.

Suzana’s great will and dedication during the training made her stand out from others. The restaurant managers recognized it and decided to offer her a job. Suzana completed the course in December and started working right away. She was trained for a kitchen assistant in the “cold kitchen”, preparing salads, sandwiches and appetizers.

“At first, I could not believe what was happening. I was unaware of it because that was a new beginning for me. I could not believe that I got a job I really liked, which could provide me with a decent life. I’m very happy, it is incredible what happened to me!” says Suzana.

As it always happens at the beginning, there were a lot of challenges for Suzana, but with her effort and the support of experienced colleagues, she mastered the job. It took time for her to develop skills and confidence in her job. So far, she has fully adapted to the job and work environment.

Like all students who have successfully completed vocational training within the project, Suzana will receive a set of kitchen equipment, and as a reward for being the best student, she will get a recipe book, so she would be able to cook various dishes at home.

The project “Empowering young Roma families” is supported by the German Foreign Office and implemented by ADRA Serbia in cooperation with ADRA Germany. The main partners are “Branko Pesic” School for Primary and Adult Education and SOS Children’s Villages Serbia