Kenyan Drivers In Germany

Felix Maringa

22 hours ago22 hours ago

Kenya and Germany have been working on a migration agreement to provide job opportunities to Kenyans while curbing skilled-labor shortages in Germany. DW’s Felix Maringa met two Kenyans as they prepare to start driving buses in northern Germany.

Ready to hit the road!

Millicent Atieno is training to be a bus driver. She’s one of a handful of Kenyans taking part in a pilot project, hoping to get a job in Germany.

In about 8 weeks, she expects to be licensed and work in Flensburg, in the north of the country.

“I’ll be very happy that am going to drive in a different road in Germany whereby there is no potholes there is no in Kenya like we have these boda bodas so I won’t be so much stressed worried that there is a boda boda rushing to my side,” says Millicent.

Stephen Sunday has been driving buses for a local school for the last 14 years. But he has to re-train as his driving license is not recognized in Germany. That’s in addition to the usual bureaucratic hurdles faced by people coming to Europe.

He says he’s been dreaming of working in Germany for the past 10 years, and he’s well aware there will be other challenges.

“I have heard about racism in Germany I think there are a lot of Blacks in Germany and being there it won’t affect me so much because I have to adapt to that situation and am ready for that.”

Germany’s incoming bus drivers have also been picking up some vital skills.

Their teacher says there’s more to it than just language.

“Part of the things we have taught them are now the disciplines, mannerisms like a driver how you are supposed to be very careful, so I German have confidence not in their German language alone but also in how to carry themselves while there. Even the culture of the Germans the food stuffs the clothing like we expect a lot of winter there,” says Connie Alouch.

Germany needs skilled workers and it’s turning to countries like Kenya to help.

Agencies like Skill-ution, who are running this project, help with all necessary visa requirements and preparations on the Kenyan side.

“We do the visa appointments at the German Embassy in Nairobi we do from the German governmental side the preparations so they get quick their visa. the bus company in Germany is taking care of the accommodation in Germany for the first year so they come to Germany they have a house where they can move in they can be there and they can take their living at least for a year,” says CEO Oliver Reetz.

Stephen Sunday is optimistic about what’s ahead.

“My hope is that I get a good working environment I get good colleagues that I can work with and also to get something to help me help those people who are in need.”

Sunday and Millicent have now signed their contracts and are looking forward to the new opportunity for them and their families.

Mmoja wao lazima ni Waweru a.k.a @KaBuda

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