A careers workshop for Ukrainian refugee children in Moldova, and new Easter traditions 

The League of Polish Women have been active in Moldova for a long time, and a BEARR grantee for many years. They are always thinking up new ways of supporting vulnerable people, and have organised a careers workshop for Ukrainian refugee teenagers. This is what the organisers said about the course: 

“Thanks to financial support from The BEARR Trust and in partnership with Psychology Prof Initiative, from March 16, our organisation, the League of Polish Women, launched a course on career guidance for Ukrainian teenagers.  

To get into the course, the students submitted a letter about their motivation, on a competitive basis. As a result, we gathered a group from different cities of Ukraine: Kharkiv, Lozovaya, Energodar, Yuzhny and of course Odesa. 

Seven girls and three boys have already had the first lesson of the course. On it, everyone got to know each other and got to know each other better. 

Then there was a serious discussion, during which the teenagers studied a formula for choosing a profession. It’s amazing how consciously they determined the factors important for choosing a career path. We discussed where the future students plan to study. Everyone talked about Ukraine, while realizing that it is difficult to make forecasts now. They mentioned Germany, Poland, the Baltic States and Denmark. Chisinau Medical University also attracts them, but they are afraid they might not be able to cope because teaching there is in Romanian. 

Then there was teamwork. We tried to look into the future – we determined what changes and trends are characteristic of the modern world, and what competences and professions will be in demand. 

And in the end, a guest joined us – Vladimir Slivka. He is a Moldovan civil engineer, founder of his own business, who told the course participants about his choice of profession at the age of 17, studying at university, and how he progressed from being an ordinary worker to management and entrepreneurship. 

All the participants have become friends and are already waiting for next Thursday to meet again and learn more about themselves and the world of professions. The psychologist who worked with the young people said “Life has forced these Ukrainian youngsters to have a mature way of thinking about their future – and they all want to go back to Ukraine.” 

The League of Polish Women also told us that they visited Refugee Temporary Accommodation Centres before Easter – something that is becoming a tradition in the organisation. They visited children staying with their families in a Centre and held a master class where they explained Polish Easter traditions and made elegant decorations. 

They said “The children were shy at first, some were frankly bored. But then they saw unusual materials for creativity – willow twigs, wheat heads, colourful eggs, a pile of bright ribbons. And immediately they came to life, made a noise, fussed – everyone tried to make his or her twig or wreath the most elegant. 

The children listened attentively and asked questions. They seemed interested in hearing something that goes beyond their ordinary experience. And how the lads perked up when they heard about ‘shmigus-dyngus’ – the Polish tradition of pouring water on girls. They probably thought we were going to start splashing around right now!” 

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