My name is Paula and I am Peruvian. I was born in the department of Piura, in the northern Peru, but I grew up in Lima. First, I lived in Pueblo Libre district, and then I moved to La Molina. In 2006, I migrated to Canada with my mother. There I finished my last years of high school, improved my French and learned English. I studied Political Science in the University of Ottawa. I survived raw winters but graduated and obtained my bachelor’s degree in 2016. Then I returned to Lima for a few months and departed in September to the Netherlands, where I studied a master’s degree in International Development. I went with the illusion of building a new life in Europe.
During the time I studied my master’s degree, I did a practice in Belgium in an NGO that advocates for the rights of refugee children of Syria and who are currently in UN camps in Lebanon and Belgium. It was thanks to this experience that I made the decision to write my thesis on Syrian refugees and their integration into European society. I always had the dream of advocating for other people seeing the existing opportunities in the European Union, its culture and its people.
As a Peruvian living an ocean away from my country, one always misses family, friends and food. But my desire to continue chasing my dreams motivates me to continue the struggle. Now, I work at the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and I work on issues to help migrants around the world. I decided to share my story because, although many times there may be obstacles along the way, perseverance and effort always win. And also because I think this is an example that Peruvians are warriors!