What if we say you need to leave your home within hours?
What if we say you go to an unknown place, leaving your house, job and all belongings behind? What would you take?
What would help you to find a new job and integrate faster no matter where you go? Your knowledge, skills and your experience. Something that does not take space in your suitcase but in combination with flexibility and adaptability, helps you overcome the challenges that life can bring and find a job anywhere faster.
In Ukraine, where there are currently more than 5 million internally displaced people due to the war, and this number is changing every day, employability skills are becoming indispensable. You can «put them in your suitcase» and take them with you wherever you go. If you know how to write a good CV, you can adapt it to a new market and employers faster, if you learn English, you can look for study or work opportunities abroad, if you strengthen your digital skills, you increase your chances of finding a job online, which contributes to your mobility.
All these skills and more are offered by Ukrainian educational hubs operating in 5 local YMCAs in Kremenchuk, Zaporizhzhia, Lutsk, Boyarka and Zdolbuniv within the framework of “Refugee Skilling and Support” Programme granted by Accenture Foundation, addressing an immediate need for digital competencies, employability-skills building, legal advice, mental health support and youth work, serving beneficiaries from the communities affected by the war.
The hubs teams make sure that beneficiaries receive not only employment skills, but also mental health support and the opportunity to feel part of the YMCA community.
The range of services provided by the hubs is very diverse: hairdressing courses, training in SMM and Google products, graphic design, English courses, and counselling for people who have lost their jobs and entrepreneurs starting their own businesses.
To support mental health, individual psychological counselling, art therapy, and yoga or stretching classes are provided. The reason for such a variety of services is the desire of each hub to adapt its work to the needs of its beneficiaries.
The work of the Skilling and Support Programme EduHubs in Ukraine today is a daily challenge. Postponing or cancelling events due to shelling, holding some events in bomb shelters, blackouts and constant emotional stress. But the results of the teams’ work are impressive, as is their strength and resilience, their ability to serve their communities and grow as organisations in times of crisis.
We have an impressive summary of the support provided through the Skilling and Support Programme eDU and Mobile Hubs in Ukraine and surrounding countries. With over 15,000 people being directly reached, over 8,000 of them have participated in educational and upskilling sessions, and close to 6,000 of them are directly impacted – benefiting from career growth and integration in the labour market. Mental health and the safety of children and young people have been the key priorities with over 6,000 beneficiaries receiving professional support.
More about the impact of the programme so far in the infographic below.
Let us hear some testimonials from the beneficiaries of the program.
Asya, from YMCA Kremenchuk attended the sessions at the eDU Hub, without knowing that the tools and learning experiences would help her further her career- “I attended absolutely everything because I saw the quality of the sessions, and it opened my perspective, I met many people. One of the participants hired me as a model for her clothes. What makes the events so special is the people you meet.”
When the war started Nataly left for Zdolbuniv, western Ukraine. There, she found a safe space at YMCA Zdolbuniv and came to learn about the eDU Hub providing incredible upskilling and learning facilities for IDPs and local people. Nataly has been involved first as a volunteer and later as a teacher/trainer of English for participants from all walks of life. This opportunity offered her a great career transformation and led her to join the national office in Kyiv where she is currently working to strengthen the YMCA movement.