Ghenwa Kandil has been part of SIVO since October 2020. With a background in reporting, she is the perfect addition to our team to help us improve the way we collect, analyse and present our impact in the Canton of Lucerne. Ghenwa finds inspiration working as a volunteer together with people from different countries and producing a positive impact in the community. We asked her a couple of questions about herself and her integration in Switzerland.
Who is Ghenwa Kandil?
I am a professional in the field of data collection, analysis, and reporting. Working for a multinational oil and gas company in Egypt, I helped executives in their decision making. I moved to Lucerne in August 2019 to live together with my husband who works in Switzerland.
Why did you join SIVO?
I have always wanted to join a non-profit organization that works to help others and to make a positive change in the community. I find happiness and satisfaction in such activities, so when I moved to Switzerland I started searching for such organisations and I am glad I found SIVO. I am looking forward to be able to do more when the pandemic situation gets better.
How did your life change since you have moved to Switzerland?
It is a big change. Here I have new responsibilities and challenges. Integration, learning a new language and developing a business are the main ones I face. Being far away from my country and family is the hardest. However, my husband’s support makes it better and easier for me.
How is you integration in Switzerland going? What do you do to integrate here?
Integration is getting better. Switzerland is a beautiful and peaceful country. I enjoy exploring it and getting to know more about it. I am trying to integrate by volunteering with SIVO. I am also learning German (currently level B1) and working on my small business. I am also trying to make friends here but the pandemic situation makes it a little bit harder.
Could you tell us more about your business?
While searching for a job here, I came across the idea of starting my own business called “The Pharaonic Shop”. It is a small page on Instagram where I sell fashion and home accessories that are inspired by Egyptian heritage and art. For me, it is a way to introduce a different taste of fashion and style here and in the same time to support traditional craftsmen in Egypt.
How is your German coming along?
My German is getting better but I know, I should push myself to speak more. I am still unconfident and a bit shy to speak a language that I am not good at, but I also know it is the way to learn. My mother tongue is Arabic and I speak English fluently, so I tend to speak those two languages, as I feel more confident speaking them than German.
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