A new beginning

Initial situation: Family, flight & migration

Yasser* fled persecution and torture in his home country. Trained as a computer scientist, Yasser got involved with a local environmental organization and collected signatures to raise awareness about pollution in a large local river caused by factory waste. Because of this engagement, Yasser was arrested one night and charged with inciting hatred and endangering public safety. Yasser was physically and psychologically tortured, brutally beaten and humiliated. As a result of his detention, Yasser was fired from his long-time job. Life became impossible to bear, so Yasser fled his country by land in 2016 and, after a migration journey that lasted nearly two years, he arrived in Switzerland in 2018, where he was able to apply for asylum.

Due to the severe trauma he experienced in prison and the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and fear of persecution, Yasser is still not able to stay in a confined space for long. Life in the collective asylum centers was difficult for him to bear.

Current situation

Yasser is currently being monitored by medical professionals and has since been able to move towards his goal of socio-professional integration and financial independence with great success. Yasser was able to receive a permanent job offer in a moving and cleaning company. His medium-term goal is to improve his level of French as soon as possible, to take a step up professionally (by getting a job with a fixed salary and fixed hours) and to no longer rely on assistance from others.  

Independence from assistance, a fixed income and suitable accommodation are the basic conditions for family reunification. Yasser has been separated from his wife and daughter for almost five years. His greatest wish is to be able to live with his family again soon and to build a more peaceful future together here in Switzerland. This is what the Swiss Foundation for Zakat wants to make possible.


Yasser now lives in his own studio apartment which gives him a greater sense of security and much needed personal space. Yasser’s health is now stable to the point that he can concentrate again, and he is taking realistic steps towards speaking French fluently. To achieve this goal, Yasser needs an individualized and independent study program, which the FSZ supports. With his computer skills, we have even encouraged Yasser to enroll in the powercoders program, which helps migrants with computer skills reach their full potential and better integrate into the Swiss labor market.

SZF Editorial Team

* Yasser in a fictitious name

This is a true story

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