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Supporting refugees by inspiring their economic inclusion


June 20, 2024

Accenture is helping welcome refugees, along with their courage, strength and talent, in the communities where we work and live. Beyond supporting short term needs like legal assistance and home setups, we’re actively working to create a more inclusive and equitable future for refugees by promoting their long-term economic inclusion and supporting their journey towards self-sufficiency and success.

Welcoming refugees into Accenture

As part of our talent strategy, we hire and develop people who not only have the required skills but also different backgrounds, different perspectives, and different lived experiences, including refugees. These differences ensure that we have and attract the cognitive diversity essential to drive innovation. Beyond hiring, we’re committed to enabling the teams our new colleagues join to support them throughout their integration and retention in our workforce.

Meet some of our colleagues who had to leave their home countries:



Packaged App Developer Associate, New York, New York, USA

Ali’s love affair with America started on Valentine’s Day 2016 – the day he arrived in the US and sought asylum.

He’d left his home in Cote d’Ivoire five years earlier, leaving behind his wife and one-year-old twin sons. He hadn’t wanted to go, and thought he’d only be away a few months. But Ali was politically active, and in the civil war of 2010-2011 had seen friends killed and feared he would be next.

He fled first to Ghana, spending two years there without finding steady work. He moved to Togo, but anti-immigrant prejudice there was high. With the political situation in Cote d’Ivoire remaining tense, he went to Cuba, and then to Mexico, with the goal of reaching the US.

Ali slept his first night in the US in the immigration office, where he stayed for three months. After release, he went to New York and found a job washing cars, and a room shared with five other immigrants. Ali got his license and drove an Uber, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. At night he Facetimed his family and taught himself English with YouTube.

Ali’s asylum case wound slowly through the courts and the pandemic caused further delays. “During COVID I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life,” he says. “Driving is stressful – and to bring my family here I needed to earn more.”

Ali had always been interested in technology, so enrolled in a one-year cybersecurity program at NYU. Classes were in the evenings, so he could drive during the day to afford the $20,000 tuition.

He completed the program in 2023 and turned to The Refugee Employment Partnership to help find a job. The group introduced Ali to Accenture, where he interviewed and got offered a place on its Apprenticeship program. “When Accenture offered me a place I said to my wife ‘I don’t deserve this, I have limited experience and my English isn’t very good’,” he says. “But everyone at Accenture tells you, ‘You do deserve to be here’ and every day they push you to do better and learn more.” Ali is looking forward to graduating from the Apprenticeship program in August 2024 and hopes to begin a full-time career in the Technology Development Program thereafter.

In 2022 Ali received asylum and this year he was able to bring his sons to the US to live with him. Although his wife hasn’t received her visa yet, he’s hopeful the family will be reunited soon. “We want to start our American dream – to live together, give our sons a good education and buy a house,” he says. “We don’t want anything for free – we want to work hard to make our dream real.”



Packaged App Development Analyst, Katowice, Poland

Nikoletta was just 20 years old when Russia invaded her home country of Ukraine.
Up until then, her life had followed a similar path to many of us. She had recently returned to Berezan, a city 75 kilometers from Kyiv, following two years at university. An only child, she was living with her parents and planning her future.

But when Russian forces occupied a neighboring city, Nikoletta’s family realized she needed to act quickly. “My parents put me on the bus to Poland, and, as we jokingly say, wished me ‘goodbye and good luck’. They were trying to save me. We just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

In the following months, Nikoletta’s life was put on hold as she struggled to adapt to her new life. She stayed with friends-of-friends and then in student accommodation. She finished her degree through remote learning and found a job in a call center.

Nikoletta reflects on this time: “I wasn’t sure what the future would bring. I carried this anxiety inside ― what will happen next, what will the next day bring, or the next month.”

A Facebook post about the Accenture Academy was to give Nikoletta the stability that she needed. The academy had been created, at speed, to help some of the millions of female refugees crossing from Ukraine to Poland ― providing technology skills so they could forge new careers and practical support and mentorship to help them to rebuild their lives.

Nikoletta completed training in Java and Salesforce and then started work on an Accenture project. She says of her new career: “Once I joined Accenture, I felt some stability. I felt less worried about the future. It gave me a place where I can belong, where I can work, and a community of people who I could talk to.”

Two years on and Nikoletta has continued to grow her career at Accenture. She has made friends and, since meeting her boyfriend, sees her future in Poland. She says:
“I hope that I will be able to build my family here. And, also, that war will end, and I will be able to show my parents my life here, so they can see how beautiful Poland is and how nice the people are here as well.”



Management Consulting Analyst, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mohammed was married, with a successful career with one of Yemen’s biggest banks, when civil war forced him to leave his home to find safety in the Netherlands. “It was the biggest decision I have ever made,” he explains. “Packing my possessions into a bag. Leaving my family, friends, and the neighborhood where I’d lived for more than 20 years. Heading to somewhere I’d never been before. Not knowing what I was going to face. Who I was going to meet.”

And building a new life wasn’t easy. Mohammed spent two years living in a refugee camp. He struggled to rebuild his career, facing difficulties in getting responses from employers because of his refugee status. “They were tough years,” he remembers. “I decorated houses, did gardening work, delivered post. Anything to provide for my family. Sometimes I felt that all I had worked for ― almost 30 years of education and experience ― had vanished in front of my eyes."

But Mohammed didn’t give up. Unable to find a role in banking, he shifted his skills, completing Salesforce and web development certifications. Then he found the Refugee Talent Hub, an Accenture partner organization who brings employers and work-authorized refugees together with the goal of finding paid employment. He was offered an interview for Accenture’s talent track program. This proved a turning point. Mohammed recalls:
“After three years, finally, a small door opened. It gave me the chance I needed. Accenture placed me on one of the biggest projects for one of the biggest banks. At last, I had an opportunity to prove myself and within six months I had a contract offer.”

Mohammed is still grateful to the Accenture colleagues who supported him. “The managing director who interviewed me made me feel she understood and cared about my situation as a refugee. She, and a peer assigned to be my work buddy, gave me support and guidance which allowed me to succeed.”

Mohammed has now been working for Accenture for over a year and a lot has changed. He has built a life for himself with his wife, Safa, and their two-year-old son, Tamim. “I’m getting my citizenship, I have a good job and, most importantly, my family are safe. My son won’t have to grow up in a war zone. It’s been a huge change. Our dreams and goals for the future are within reach again.”



Client Financial Management Analyst, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

As the plane took off from Kabul Airport, Ruhina didn’t know where it was going. She didn’t care – as long as it was away from the Taliban, who had captured the city nine days earlier.

Ruhina and her husband had spent those nine days hiding with their family and, finally, enduring an agonizingly slow bus ride to the airport, trying to ignore the bursts of gunfire around them. “I felt like everything was finished,” she says. “Not only for me and my career, but also for every single person in Afghanistan. All the efforts of the Afghan and American governments were undone overnight."

It seemed impossible that things could fall apart so quickly. In the 18 months before the Taliban takeover, Ruhina had started her dream job in finance, been promoted, got married, bought a house and won a scholarship to start her master’s degree.

The plane landed in Kuwait, and, five days later, Ruhina and her husband continued to the United States. They arrived with just their passports and carry-on bags with a few clothes and keepsakes.

Despite being fluent in English, Ruhina found adjusting to her new country challenging. “Everything was new – just buying groceries or going to a restaurant was hard – I felt like I wasn’t able to do basic things,” she says. “I wanted to work but didn’t know how I would compete against thousands of people applying for jobs.”

Yet she persevered and interviewed for an operations job at Accenture and was hired – less than six months after arriving in the US. “I wanted a job to survive and to not rely on charity and was willing to do anything,” she says. “But as I met more people at Accenture and explained my finance background, they encouraged me to make a switch.” More interviews followed, she was hired for her current role, and her career was back on track.

Looking to the future, Ruhina sees nothing but continued opportunity at Accenture. “I was so nervous about joining such a big organization,” she says. “But what I found were so many different people, working together. And none of them cares about your accent, or what you’re wearing, or where you’re from – they care about you and helping you learn and grow.” And continue to learn and grow Ruhina intends to, already setting her sights on picking up the studies for her master’s degree she had to abandon when leaving Afghanistan.

Scaling refugee support through partnerships and our people

We partner with local and global organizations to support refugees around the world in establishing new lives, gaining meaningful employment and starting businesses.

In fiscal year 2023, programs supported by Accenture reported over 13,000 refugees worldwide were equipped with skills toward employment or entrepreneurship and over 4,400 refugees were assisted with increased career resilience, securing a job, starting their own business, or re-entering formal education.

More than 2,600 Accenture volunteers have actively participated in programs supporting refugees in the 12 months between World Refugee Day 2023 and 2024.

Select partnerships Accenture supports

Led by Accenture and Eidos Global, Código Pa'Lante is a learning initiative devoted to offer migrant and refugee communities in six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia and México) the opportunity to learn front-end design and basic programming. With a learning path especially customized to the target audience and the support of 80+ organizations, including UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and the International Organization for Migration, Código Pa'Lante trained more than 800 people and supported 530 people with re-entering formal education or enhancing job placement, specifically in the tech industry, after six months.

We’re helping PeaceGeeks serve newcomers to Canada, including those who have been forcibly displaced around the world. Using human-centered technology and digital tools, PeaceGeeks assists refugees and newcomers with settlement and development of employment skills, helping them reach personal and economic success in their new homeland. We have been working with PeaceGeeks since 2022 to scale the 'Welcome to Canada' app and provide users the Virtual Career Coach Experience. This program aims to support over 7,000 refugees into employment or formal education by August 2026.

Accenture is a member of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of 400+ companies committed to connect refugees to work. Accenture takes part in hiring, training and mentorships programs for refugees across countries in Europe, North America and Latin America. In 2023, Accenture committed to partnering with organizations to help skill and support an estimated 16,000 refugee and migrant job seekers in Europe, including Ukrainian refugee women, over the next three years.

Accenture is partnering with Welcome.US to help lead the movement of mobilizing private sector and community support for welcoming newcomers in the United States. Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet co-chairs the Welcome.US CEO Council, a network representing 40 influential companies working to accelerate and scale private sector support for people seeking refuge. Since Welcome.US’ launch in 2021, the CEO Council has contributed more than $200 million in goods, services, and funds to support refugee resettlement efforts.

We helped YMCA Europe establish community hubs in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia to help internally displaced people and refugees connect with local communities and resources, including access to safe and secure skill development and support. The program, with the ongoing support of Accenture, has over time shifted its focus from emergency response to refugee integration in the 4 countries. Since fiscal year 2023, it has provided more than 17,000 Ukrainian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons with holistic support, skills and know-how.