Thirteen students are sitting in a circle in front of a blackboard. Alina is one of them. The sixteen year-old is currently enrolled in a course to become a tailor at one of the vocational schools in Mariupol. After the standard classes she regularly sits together with other young people from fifteen to nineteen years to learn all the things needed to become successful at work, besides the actual vocational training. This additional teaching is part of the “life skills program”, that arche noVa has introduced as a pilot project at Alina’s school. The reception and the results were positive, so the program will be continued.
From now on the additional program takes place at 16 vocational schools after the regular classes. The offer is voluntary and for free for the students during our project. The program will run until 2019. The goal is to develop personal abilities and to teach values. How do I write an application? What does teamwork mean? How do I make my point clear? These are questions, Alina and the other participants are pursuing with the help of their teacher. The teachers are trained by arche noVa and receive a professional fee for their work.
The future for young people in Ukraine is often insecure. The crumbling infrastructure and the weakened economy are big difficulties when entering work life. The conflict at the eastern border shapes the everyday life of the people here. Schools are teaching practical knowledge, but they do not support the transition into the job market. Our project is intended to hand over knowledge and create perspectives, because in the end the focus lies on self-confidence.
“I had heard of the program and wanted to see myself what is behind, so I decided to take part. After the first meeting I acknowledged that these courses will be very helpful for my future and prepare me for different situations. The topics “Values” and “How to insist on one’s opinion” interested me the most and I am curios what content there is to come”, Alina tells us. All in all she has visited four out of seventeen sessions. Besides gaining new knowledge, fun and community is equally important. It is also the chance to meet friends and exchange experiences. The social side plays a role in the program too.
“I hope the program will develop further and will reach and support many other students”, Alina says.
arche noVa is also active in Ukraine with a comprehensive reconstruction program. Many public institutions are affected by the conflict. Houses, that have been mostly built in the 1950s are in need of construction and are partly damaged by the military confrontation. A number of public buildings have no access to clean water or sanitary facilities anymore. Since 2016 arche noVa helps with the renovation of the sanitary and water supply at schools, kindergartens and hospitals.
If you want to learn more about our program, please visit our project site on our work in Ukraine.