In Search of a Better Life

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In Search of a Better Life

June 2021

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From London to Singapore, employees encourage and equip refugees and migrants searching for rewarding work. 

For many of nearly 374,000 refugees in the UK1 — half of whom live in London — poor English language skills, unrecognized credentials and a host of other barriers stand between them and meaningful employment. With no government-sponsored integration program, the UK unemployment rate among refugees is four times the national average in other countries. 


London-based nonprofit, and winner of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for 2021, Breaking Barriers equips refugees with the knowledge, confidence and experience they need overcome these obstacles and land stable, fulfilling jobs. With funding support, in part from BNY Mellon, Breaking Barriers offers personalized employment advice, English and IT courses, employment skills workshops and work placements. 

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Breaking free from underemployment transforms individuals and communities.

In 2020, BNY Mellon volunteers coached underemployed refugees seeking new roles that better match their skills and aspirations. During virtual, hour-long one-on-one Career Insights interviews, professionals in accounting, technology and digital, human resources and other fields shared first-hand insights about the realities of working within a particular field, industry or position. Beyond that assistance, through our Signature Pro Bono program, a London-based BNY Mellon Human Resources team spent 10 weeks collaborating with Breaking Barriers to create a human resources performance management process from scratch.


Across the world in Singapore, BNY Mellon helps migrant female domestic workers transform their lives through economic empowerment. We mobilize financial resources and the talents of our employees to support Aidha, an innovative financial education and entrepreneurship program designed to end the cycle of poverty. Aidha gives workers what amounts to a micro-MBA in economics and business and has helped many women find financial freedom by launching their own business. 


The BNY Mellon Technology Team in Singapore led a technology workshop for Aidha students and 23 BNY Mellon volunteers logged 120 hours as they facilitated workshops for Aidha alumnae and judged a business start-up competition. While Aidha students reaped benefits from these opportunities, BNY Mellon volunteers garnered satisfaction from touching and transforming lives.


For us, it’s all about helping people build a better future while offering employees the opportunity to transform lives.

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