First Workshop Jobs and Skills

The event was attended by 40 highly engaged Ukrainians.

The Aid Ukraine Denmark Jobs & Skills workshop pilot took place on Thursday,
August 18th, at the Frivilligcenter of Rudersdal.

The workshop was designed to inform our Ukrainian friends about topics around job
search and working life in Denmark.

The audience consisted of Ukrainians from Ruderdal and a couple of other
municipalities that came to Denmark to find a temporary home while the Russian war
against Ukraine was underway.

The presenters spent slightly over two hours talking about a smart way of compiling
CVs, cultural differences between Ukraine and Denmark and many-many other
topics around Jobs & Skills including but not limited to employee rights and unions in
Denmark. The workshop was conducted in Ukrainian.

The event was attended by approx. 40 highly engaged participants listening
attentively, asking all sorts of questions, and sharing experiences – and emotions.

The feedback received was highly helpful and encouraging.

The team Jobs & Skills will coordinate further similar workshops on topics of
relevance in collaboration with third party presenters.

First Free English Classes

The first group of Ukrainians began improving their English Skills.

On June 28th the first two groups of Ukrainians began taking English classes at Studieskolen. These pilot classes were made possible thanks to a donation from Lemvigh-Müller Fonden and took place for a period of two months during the summer. The purpose of this initiative was to help our Ukrainian friends to acquire and improve their English skills. This is the only way for them to get a better access to the labour market while they are in Denmark. The feedback received was highly encouraging.

The comments from Studieskolen were very positive: Students’ engagement was very high, and they were diligent about doing homework. They really wanted to learn, and they were ager to help and encourage one another in the learning process. They seemed happy overall and were very thankful for what they were learning.

All students rated the quality of teaching with 5 stars. Almost 90% of the students rated acquiring new knowledge with 4 to 5 stars. Over 50% of the students confirmed improving on skills after the classes with a rating of 4 or 5 stars.

Tara Klarlund Hogen, the head of the English Department at Studieskolen, shared these impressions: “I met the students regularly. They always seemed so happy and engaged. It was good that they could have their young children with them in class. One teacher brought colouring books and markers for the children. This helped them stay entertained and involved.

Overall there was a sense of purpose and direction. Some talked about jobs. Others signed up for the new free intensive courses (14 weeks) that Studieskolen offered. It was a pleasure working with Aid Ukraine Denmark on this Pilot Program. We kept in close contact throughout and this led to a good collaboration. Thank you in particular to Mette and Margarita at Aid Ukraine Denmark.”

Job Fairs in Copenhagen and Roskilde

We turned job-matching events into real job opportunities for many Ukrainians.

We are committed to assisting as many Ukrainians as possible to integrate into the Danish labour market. In June, Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering and Aid Ukraine Denmark worked hand in hand to organise large-scale job-matching events for Ukrainians in Copenhagen and Roskilde. Around twenty-five companies presented different job opportunities to 1200 Ukrainians. It was a mix of big multinational and medium-sized Danish businesses. It was very encouraging to see them taking the lead. Both job fairs have been very successful as many Ukrainians got employed as a result.

Niels Aarslew, VEU-coordinator Arbejdsmarkedskontor Øst at Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering, has acknowledged the collaboration with Aid Ukraine Denmark as highly effective and fruitful: “Aid Ukraine Denmark has delivered a very valuable and highly appreciated contribution to the successful job-match events for Ukrainians in Copenhagen and Roskilde. They have been extremely helpful in contacting participating companies and Ukrainians and providing voluntary interpreters for the event. Aid Ukraine Denmark deserves all the credit they can get for their dedication and effort.”

On the side of Aid Ukraine Denmark, representatives of several teams were involved: Jobs & Skills, Translation, Secretariat, and Communication. Margarita Chalmer, the lead for Jobs & Skills, acknowledged an outstanding support by many helping hands: “Together we turned job-matching events into real job opportunities for many Ukrainians. By no means an easy task – but highly necessary and helpful.“

We received positive feedback from Ukrainians seeking jobs and our interpreters working during two job fairs. Interpreter Mariia says: “I am very thankful for participating in the Job Fair for Ukrainians. It was an incredible experience for me. It was a meaningful and fulfilling job to help people like me and my fellow citizens in need. We are bound with the same tragedy, lost homes and employment, and we had to flee to save our lives. We want to work, and we need jobs. Sometimes people just wanted to communicate, hear the Ukrainian language, and feel solidarity. I believe such events help not only to find a job but also  engagement and integration in Denmark.”

Maria’s Story

My name is Maria, and I am from Kramatorsk. I want to express my deep gratitude to Aid Ukraine Denmark for the great help to Ukrainian people who fled the war in Ukraine. By a happy coincidence, I was a passenger on the first Aid Ukraine Denmark bus for Ukrainian refugees from Poland to Denmark on the 11th of March. On the first of August, I started to work and finally settled here in Denmark. Here is my story. Terrified by war and occupation, we had to flee from our home in the Donbas area. We flew from my home city Kramatorsk to Poland. I had to go to a completely different city in Denmark. But at a refugee camp in Poland, the bus check-in desk told me to wait a day.
I was with my mother and a small dog, we had already been two days on the road, and we were so tired that I decided not to wait for another bus but to take the Aid Ukraine Denmark bus, and I was not a mistake. As you know, accidents are not accidental. I am happy to be here where this bus brought us!

Ever since leaving Ukraine for Denmark, I have been thinking about volunteering. I couldn’t help in Ukraine, but I wanted to be helpful in Denmark! After three months of adaptation to a new life, I became a volunteer at the Aid Ukraine Denmark team! I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in the job fair for Ukrainians as an interpreter. It was an incredible experience for me. It was a meaningful and fulfilling job to help people like me and my fellow citizens in need. We are bound by the same tragedy, we lost homes and employment, and we had to flee to save our lives. We want to work, and we need jobs. Such events help us not only to find a job but also to engage and integrate into Denmark. I was one of them, a person who was looking for a job.

By June, I have already attended several job interviews. In July, I found a job as a waitress in a cosy hotel Konventum in Helsingør. I made the right choice. I am so happy that I have this job. I consider my workplace – my second home, and my colleagues are my family. They support me and help me with practical advice and job onboarding. Even when I am tired, I am happy because of my team and colleagues at Konventum.

I started to attend a Danish language school twice a week after work. At school, I study grammar, and at work, I practice with colleagues and guests. Every day bit by bit, I understand Danish better. I am very thankful to be here.

Thank you for your hospitality!

Will’s Story

In April 2022, I found an intriguing post on LinkedIn where an NGO in Denmark was seeking to leverage a technology platform (Smartsheet) which I use heavily managing operations and workflows at a software company here in the United States. This was an uncanny discovery that matched up many of my interests and passions.

I have been an admirer of Nordic culture, social democracy, humanism, history, and languages for the past few years. The chance to help Ukrainians in their time of need, make friends in Denmark, and share a bit of my own expertise for a wonderful cause was all too good not to embrace!

The Aid Ukraine Denmark IT Team was extremely welcoming to me, when I reached out across the Atlantic Ocean and two continents to offer some help. We have created many useful workflows and centralized and simplified many sources of data that are needed to improve operations of Aid Ukraine Denmark in a very short time. We have collaborated to design many vehicles for delivering more aid and community in the coming months and beyond. I am honored and consider it a great privilege to contribute to helping a group of people who have banded together to offer support in so many ways to the embattled migrants from Ukraine. The humanitarian crisis presented to the whole world is a moment in history for solidarity and kindness even as war must be waged on so many fronts.

The experience so far has been very rewarding and is teaching me about myself – providing global perspective to my everyday life and energizing me to give what I can. My hope is to enable others to do the same and, in the process, make life some tiny bit easier for those who are oppressed.