The conflict between Russia and Ukraine worsened at the end of February 2022, after strong tensions between the two countries had been ongoing since 2014, linked above all to the disputed territories of Crimea and part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. More than two years have passed since that moment and the war is not over.

As in every war, civilians suffer the heaviest consequences of bombings, occupations, violence, and abuse. Among the various problems that Ukraine faces, there is internal migration. In fact, many people flee from the areas most affected by the war to go to the more peaceful regions of the country today.

People on the run, trying to rebuild their lives and integrate into a new context, need support. Among these, many are women, and a support project has been specifically designed for them. Thanks to a contact from Professor Marco Moschini of the Foundation's Board of Directors, we met with the National Polytechnic University of Lviv: together we thought of offering refugee women the opportunity to access a training course.

The training course for Ukrainian refugee women of 2023

The team of professionals from the University of Lviv structured an online training course with the aim of providing women with new skills and highlighting the professional development opportunities available despite the war. The course was held online to give women from different areas of Ukraine the opportunity to access the training opportunity.

The 103 women who participated in the course have very different professional and personal stories, but they all share an existence profoundly impacted by the conflict. All were accompanied in the redefinition of their objectives, in the acquisition of new skills and in the management of emotions linked to the change of life imposed by the war.

Some stories of the women who attended the course

The lives of the women who attended the course were profoundly affected by the war. Most of them are fleeing alone or with their children, since the men are at the front. Sometimes they have been forced to leave some of their families in areas where the conflict is most intense. For each of the participants this course increased their skills, but above all it was a precious opportunity for sharing and rediscovered trust.

Iryna, originally from Zaporizhzhia, was involved in writing and content creation. Iryna told us how important dialogue and discussion with other women in situations like hers was during the course. This experience made her stronger and more aware and she found the courage to start working as a copywriter again.

Natalia is 60 years old and thanks to this course she has started a new chapter in her life. In Kramatorsk she left her husband, her house, and her shop, which she opened 30 years ago. Thanks to the strength and courage awakened by the training course, she overcame her fears and opened a shop in the new city that hosts her.

Victoria, a young woman of 33 years old, originally from Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, was a sales assistant before the conflict. Her dream has always been to be a hairdresser and thanks to this training course she decided to try to make her dream come true by applying for various tenders with the aim of obtaining funds to start her business.

The new training path for 2024

After the first training experience, a more specific training aimed at a smaller group of women is planned for the new year. The participants, as happened for the first year of training, were identified through the contacts that the University has with the Municipalities and the various organizations operating in Ukraine.

This time the course will be dedicated to a group of 20 women with the aim of creating a real business plan and asking for funding to realize their idea through the funds made available to displaced women.

23 August 2023

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