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Promote the professional integration of refugee students

Getting a job is one of the biggest challenges facing refugees once they arrive in their host country. Helping them overcome this hurdle is the mission of One Step Forward in Luxembourg.

The One Step Forward programme – supported by BGL BNP Paribas – aims to integrate refugee students into the working world. Bank employees are supporting the programme by volunteering to provide mentoring and training sessions.

The goal of One Step Forward is to help integrate vulnerable people into companies by making the transition period easier for them.

One Step Forward bridges the gap between refugees (who have been granted international protection status) and the BNP Paribas Group. This commitment from employee mentors is part of the BGL BNP Paribas civic responsibility strategy, which aims to create a positive social impact through various initiatives.

How does this work in practice?

The One Step Forward programme offers refugees:

  • a range of training courses: creating a CV, interview techniques, accounting skills, etc.
  • mentoring sessions: 52 hours of one-on-one mentoring sessions with a bank employee
  • access to internships at BGL BNP Paribas.



Sophie Bsarani, BGL BNP Paribas staff member:

I could never have imagined that my professional life would bring me into contact with refugees. Everything happens very naturally here and there’s no pressure whatsoever on my student mentee Habte and me when we interact with one another. Becoming a mentor has shown me just how many obstacles to integration there are in Luxembourg and how, as an ordinary European citizen, I can help a student refugee to overcome them.

It’s an eye-opening human experience: I give practical and useful advice and receive a new outlook on life in return!

Habte Gilai, studying for a Masters in Wealth Management at the Univeristy of Luxembourg:

Thanks to the programme, I now feel more confident and supported in my life as a student and refugee. Just being listened to by professionals who are volunteering their time and who are part of the “real world” is invaluable. When you arrive in a country where you don’t know anyone, it’s a stroke of luck to be able to rely on somebody trustworthy who has made a voluntary and altruistic choice to help you.

One Step Forward at a glance