Refugees find a new solar-powered future
Canadian Solar EMEA GmbH is literally what you would call a multicultural melting pot in the heart of Munich, Germany. Our 63 employees within the organization are from 24 different nationalities from all four corners of the globe, including North, Central and South America, India, China, Europe, Australia, the Middle East etc. Similar to our local EMEA office, the Bavarian capital has not only become more multicultural over the last year when thousands of refugees arrived in Munich on a daily base, the city has also become an important starting point for the future of all those who have arrived. Because of the great support of its citizens and the warm reception of the refugees, Munich is not only known for its Oktoberfest anymore.
As a matter of course, Canadian Solar’s EMEA team joined in supporting and welcoming our new residents by collecting clothing, goods and money in 2015, still integration does not end with donations.
“For our whole team it was more than just a personal concern to support our new German residents in any way possible. To be able to share the opportunity to professionally start over again and get to know the power of renewable energy marks an important milestone in the development of our whole organization and enriches the job experience of both our local teams as well as our refugee interns”, says Susanne Pflug, General Manager at Canadian Solar EMEA GmbH.
Two refugees from Syria started their internships at Canadian Solar in September – the first two out of hopefully many more to come. Both support the local departments in Finance, Tech, Marketing and Sales Operations.
“The internship is a great opportunity to get to know the responsibilities and workflows involved in the sales and distribution of solar panels. I like that we are supporting different teams - this is how we get a better understanding of each departments’ role within the company, and at some point we can see which fields of work will be our preference for the future. Supporting solar, you can’t do anything wrong as you will always contribute to something great”, says Saleh, refugee intern at Canadian Solar EMEA GmbH.
In Syria, Saleh used to work as an engineer in an oil and gas company before he came to Germany 9 months ago. Many of his skills are very useful for his supporting role in the Munich office, still his aim is to make a difference within his new job. Based on his experience at Canadian Solar so far, he is now aiming to continue his career within the energy sector – this time hopefully powered by solar.