Back to All Events

Becoming Kiwi - A Refugee Story. Electra Business After 5.

Join us for a unique perspective on how we can work together to unlock the skills and potential that newcomers bring to Horowhenua.

Tammam Tamim's story is a familiar one. With a wife and young son, two degrees in law and business administration, money in the bank, farms and cars, he was happy with a life that he and his family had worked hard for. 

Overnight his life changed.  Civil war broke out in Syria and his company, a water filtration business, was bombed. Tammam and his family fled to Thailand. Shortly after their arrival, the Thai government changed their position on refugees. For three-and-a-half years, Tammam and his extended family were virtual prisoners in a 65sqm apartment, too terrified to go outside for food or medical treatment. The family remained hidden on expired visas, hoping for resettlement - surviving on rations and struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

In 2016, Tammam and his extended family moved to Palmerston North. However, settling into life in New Zealand presented some challenges. Despite over 28 years of business and study, and 11 years of sales experience - Tammam’s law and business degree weren’t recognised and he struggled to find even minimum wage work.

Eventually, he found work as a painter and builder, but missed being a part of the business community. Only three years after arriving in New Zealand, he has retrained as a barber and is now in the process of buying a business that he hopes can one day employ the rest of his family, eleven of whom are still living in Thai Immigration Detention Centres.

Join us to hear Tammam’s story, and learn how we can create a force for positive change with refugees in our community, unlocking new opportunities for everyone.

$5.00 per person at the door.

To register click here.

To receive email notifications for future events, please sign up to our mailing list.