Sanaullah Hajizada, called “Sana”, was born in raised in the dry, mountainous country of Afghanistan.
Growing up financially unstable motivated him to attend university in the turbulent city of Kabul, where he earned his degree in business and administration. Hard-working and intelligent, Sana earned a job writing proposals for SNBCC, an Afghan construction company, in 2009.
In 2011 he took a job with USAID, a U.S. Government agency providing relief to impoverished regions, and helping them develop effective and resilient systems.
What Sana didn’t realize was his desire to help his nation thrive would soon put a target on his back.
Self-proclaimed enemies of America, terrorist groups like ISIS and alQuaeda consider anyone working with American organizations to be traitors. Insurgents began targeting him and his family in an effort to get him to relinquish his role in aiding the U.S.
Threats increased, and Sana soon applied for an SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) that would allow him and his wife to escape this brutal and life-threatening persecution. His request was approved, and in 2015 Sana and his wife left the only life they knew to begin again on U.S. soil.
They found refuge in Atlanta, Georgia, where Sana immediately came face-to-face with the formidable challenge every refugee is confronted with: finding employment.
“I was looking for a job and didn’t know anyone—and nobody helped me.”
Sana took a modest job at HomeGoods, working long warehouse hours, and began his arduous climb back up the career ladder.
He shared his struggles, “I had an administrative background for ten years, but [businesses] did not believe in my skills and talents because I was not an American, just a refugee.”
Despite opposition, Sana soon landed a more advanced job manufacturing high-quality solar panels with Suniva, Inc.. But he soon faced yet another set-back when the Trump administration closed this government-funded company, leaving him and over 100 other employees jobless.
Sana was connected with Amplio, where they quickly acknowledged his accomplished background in administration. They helped fine-tune his resume, and began sending it to local companies in hopes of connecting him with a well-suited career that would enable him to provide for his family, once more.
While working with Sana, Chris Chancey, founder of Amplio, recognized that he possessed just the right skills they needed right there in their office. He offered him a job, and Sana accepted joining the team in April of this year.
“We always say he’s the glue that holds the office together,” Chris comments, “He sees this company as his company… He’s not just punching the clock, he’s doing whatever needs to be done because he feels like this is just as much his business as it is ours, and he wants it to be successful.”
At Amplio, Sana not only completes onboarding and processes payroll for over 100 employees, but he uses his own experience to help other refugees who are facing the same struggles he once did.
“I’ve been through all those hard times, so I don’t want to give them a hard time. I help them, and pave the ground for them, making things happen easier for them.”
Sana lights up as he shares his favorite part of working at Amplio: providing translation services at no cost. Sana speaks three languages: English, Hindi, and Farsi, making him a vital asset to the company, and those they serve.
“I feel proud when a person comes into the office, confident of working hard but unable to communicate in English. They just say, ‘Job’ in a different language. Many are from Asia, and I can often speak to them in Hindi.”
While other staffing companies charge for third-party translation services, Amplio is able to offer this invaluable help for free thanks to Sana’s help. But despite his already impressive language proficiency, he says his next goal is to learn French.
“In Africa, a good number of people speak French. I just want to be able to communicate with more [refugees].”
Currently, Sana works in Amplio’s Atlanta office, where he is now settled with his wife, 2-year-old son, and their new addition, born in June. When he is not helping other refugees find work and re-build their life here in America, he enjoys shopping and visiting local parks with his family.
Sana is just one of the many hard-working and altruistic teammates at Amplio. And his story is just one of the hundreds of success stories that have come out of Amplio’s work in the past three years.
There are millions of talented and motivated refugees, worldwide, who need our help. Like Sana, you can be a part of the solution. Partner with us to hire talent from within the refugee workforce. Start by visiting our website at www.ampliorecruting.com