Lionel, Counsellor

« Thanks to the OFII I was able to find a job when I got back home, whereas it’d’ve been a lot harder without them »

Lionel grew up in Yaoundé in Cameroon. After an ES baccalaureate at the French high school, he left to embark upon his higher education in France. This made perfect sense for him because his brother and friends had already moved over there. Lionel saw the trip as a European experience and an opportunity to go to a top university, although he had no plans to move to France permanently.

When he arrived in 2009, he first came into contact with the OFII when he underwent a medical examination in order to obtain his residence permit and that was when he heard about the grants available for voluntary repatriation.

In 2016, after completing a degree in economy-management and a master’s in public administration, he applied for a reintegration grant via employment and found a position as a counsellor at the Campus France centre in Cameroon. “Thanks to the OFII I was able to find a job when I got back home, whereas it’d've been a lot harder without them”, Lionel tells us. When he got back home, the OFII even covered half of his salary in order to make it easier for him to reintegrate back into the Cameroonian public service system.

His everyday life nowadays consists of supporting students who might one day want to join the French higher education system on a work experience placement, a study trip or a doctoral thesis. Lionel is glad to be back among his friends and family and to be able, in turn, to give something back to other people. Cameroon is the country of African heat. It’s a joyful place.”

Lionel is now 25 and one day soon he’d like to join the National Driving Development Programme supervised by the Ministry of the Economy.