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Unfortunately, cancer hits even at a young age. This is the case of Juan, an Ecuadorian young man only 21 years old, who was referred to us by a psychologist from the hospital where he is being treated.

Juan is the eldest son of a single mother and has two younger brothers. About two years ago, when he was still in high school, he was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the initial shock and the particularly invasive therapies, the boy managed to pass his high school exam and graduate from the hospital.

Before the desease, despite being a student, Juan worked evenings and weekends to help his mother – the only member of the family to have an income. With the illness, however, things became more complicated: Juan in fact easily get tired and heavy works can aggravate his health. Therefore, following the suggestion of his psychologist, he contacted the Work Is Progress Program. The first thing that emerged during the interview was his strong need to do something for himself, to be helped to shift his attention from the constant and distressing thought of illness to something new, productive and with a future perspective.

Since his technical was useless, Juan asked to be accompanied to a professional reorientation. The young man, who presents himself very well, was punctual, adequate and spoke excellent Italian. He loved to use the computer and did it quite well. His relatives and friends always turned to him when they don’t know how to deal with the bureaucratic paperwork online, and that’s why he imagined himself in an office, for example as a counter, to provide support and technical assistance to users. Juan expressed a particular interest in the work done by counter operators in CAFs, so we moved ahead to look for a course.

We discovered that courses in this field are very expensive and Juan couldn’t afford the fees but, considering his strong motivation, we decided to support him through an emergency fund dedicated to patients and caregivers in economic difficulties. Through the fund, the young boy enrolled in the course and, after a short time, obtained his diploma.

At the same time, the boy was supported by the Work is Progress lawyer for clarifying the link between his disability allowance and the duration of his residence permit. Fortunately, with the renewal of the document, he could recover the allowances in arrears. He was also accompanied to enrol in the employment service dedicated to disable people, an opportunity he didn’t know.

Finally, he was given the opportunity to take a career counselling course with the Randstad employment agency, with which Work is Progress has been collaborating effectively from many years. With their help, he updated his CV, placing great emphasis on soft skills, he restored his LinkedIn profile, registered on work agencies sites, and learned how to follow and respond to open vacancies.

Randstad promoted his profile both to its network of client companies and externally and, due to this, Juan has recently received two interesting interview opportunities for which he is now waiting for the results.

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