Celeste, Argentina



This photo perfectly shows why we chose to come and live here. I am trying to find a new balance after years of working in different refugee camps. It was time to catch my breath and to create a new home where I can always come back to.


I was born in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. We lived in a working-class neighborhood. None of my family had ever been abroad to work or study. I didn't intend to do that either, but when I was 14 years old, someone gave a presentation about the United Nations at school. From that moment on I wanted to be a humanitarian aid worker. I even secretly went along to my older sister’s university to listen to social studies classes.


My first job was at the United States embassy in my country. After a while there was an opportunity for me to go to Iraq with them. I took that chance with both hands. That’s where my career in working with refugees started. I was only 23 years old. Looking back at it now, I don't know how I did it.


After that I was in Colombia, Ecuador, South Sudan and Congo for Doctors Without Borders. I always worked as a project manager. Then I worked for the UN in the Gaza Strip in Palestine, Bangladesh and eventually in Somalia.


It is very hard work and I was sometimes involved in crises that involved a lot of violence and many victims. My last mission was even harder because I had to do the work of two people. Plus, we lived and worked dangerously close to an armed conflict. When the pandemic started, my boyfriend and I decided to come to the Netherlands. He is from Tilburg.


We've been here for a year and a half now. I will continue working from here – this time for Save the Children – but I take things a little easier now. It is the largest NGO in the world that stands up for children. From the Netherlands I support projects in Thailand, Uganda and South Sudan. It inspires me enormously.


We first wanted to move to The Hague, but when we visited Leiden, we fell in love with this city immediately. We bought a small house here and furnished it. We only had one suitcase each when we arrived! We got married last summer. We will travel again, but we now have a place and a sense of home that we can always come back to.