In the face of adversity brought on by the war in Ukraine, the indomitable spirit of Ukrainians has shone through as an inspiring testament to human strength and determination. These stories of triumph and transformation are not just tales of survival but also of personal growth, fueled by the unwavering support of the YMCA and its diverse skilling and support program.
Tenacity Amidst Turmoil
These are stories of individuals who have exhibited remarkable tenacity, conquered their fears, and navigated the tumultuous waters of war and displacement to find hope even in the darkest of times. Let’s delve into the inspiring journeys of a few extraordinary individuals.
Olesia’s Bold Step into a New Adventure (Boyarka Hub)
At 44, former fashion designer Olesia embarked on a courageous journey by enrolling in YMCA’s hairdressing course. She quickly emerged as a top student, discovering exciting career opportunities. Olesia’s journey, marked by gratitude, passion, and hard work, exemplifies the transformative power of YMCA’s support.
Lesya’s Resilience and Recovery (Kremenchuk Hub)
Lesya, a 52-year-old single mother and music director, faced severe challenges as the war disrupted her life. Her participation in YMCA’s programs, including meditation and social media management, aided her recovery and led to a fulfilling career in vocal coaching. Now, Lesya is employed at a private center and handles 12 clients, has a stable income and a new career ahead.
Olena’s Remarkable Success (Romania Hub)
Shortly after arriving in Romania, Olena, a massage therapist, turned to YMCA’s Employment Support Program. In just three days, she secured a job at a prestigious spa. Her story stands as a testament to YMCA’s remarkable success in helping individuals rebuild their lives.
Evgenia’s Journey to Growth (Lutsk Hub)
Evgenia, 34, found employment classes and a speaking club at Y-Space. With YMCA’s guidance, she honed her interview skills, boosted her confidence, and secured her dream job. Her passion for growth and English language proficiency make her ready for a promising future.
Olena Shydlovska’s Journey Home (Zdolbuniv Hub)
Olena Shydlovska returned to Ukraine with her children after seeking refuge in Denmark. Six months later, driven by a deep longing for family and home, they returned to Ukraine. Upon her return, Olena was extended a heartfelt invitation to join the YMCA Zdolbuniv team, embarking on a meaningful journey as part of the Education Hub project.
Mrs. Valya’s Resilience and Pursuit of Passion (Slovakia Hub)
Mrs. Valya, a 62-year-old displaced resident of Mariupol, Donetsk region, adapted to her new life with the help of YMCA courses. She now excels in computer literacy and hairdressing courses in YMCA Liptovsky Mikulas, and speaks Slovak fluently. Through guidance of a YMCA teacher, she is also currently realizing her passion in singing”. It tells the reader that YMCA is not only providing a one-class-for-all, but also provide a more personal, individualized support.
Ina’s Remarkable Adaptation (Moldova Hub)
Ina’s life took an unexpected turn when the war forced her to leave Odessa, her cherished home, at 48. Upon her arrival in Moldova, she had to rebuild her life in a new, unfamiliar place. She came to the YMCA hub and learnt about a job opportunity as a receptionist at one of YMCA’s partner. Leveraging Moldovan and Russian language courses, Ina mastered both languages and excelled in her new position. Ina’s journey exemplifies the enduring power of the human spirit, and serves as an inspiring reminder that perseverance and hard work can help us overcome any challenge and build a brighter future.
Vlad’s Entrepreneurial Transformation (Zaporizhja Hub)
Former educator, Vlad, discovered new purpose through the YMCA Mobile Hub Zaporizhja project. Equipped with vital business skills, he ventured into entrepreneurship, offering services for multi-apartment buildings. With determination and YMCA’s support, he expanded his reach and connected with a wider audience.
Through skilling programs and employment opportunities, YMCA has played a pivotal role in providing individuals with the tools and guidance they need to rebuild their lives with newfound purpose. Most importantly, YMCA has successfully empowered these individuals to rise above their circumstances.
In a time of immense challenge, these stories serve as a poignant reminder of the power of resilience, determination, and community support. The YMCA continues to be a beacon of hope, enabling individuals to not only survive but thrive, even in the face of adversity.
YMCA hubs are operating in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, addressing an immediate need for digital competencies, employability skills building, legal advise, mental health support and youth work, serving beneficiaries from the communities affected by the war. “Refugee Skilling and Support” project is a YMCA Europe initiative supported by Accenture foundation.