Family, home, career are words that, for many of us, represent the natural milestones of development and stability, but for millions of Ukrainians they signify things they have lost. For more than 100,000 refugees remaining in Romania due to a war that does not seem to end, the cultural and language barriers and social integration are representing  new challenges. One of the increasingly visible needs is finding a job, essential both for their social integration and for ensuring a decent living for the time they will spend here.

Hands Across Romania Association, in order to  meet these needs, offers professional counseling services within the VoHub center, financed by CARE with the support of the SERA Foundation, CARE France and FONPC. The team of specialists of the association guides many of the refugees either in the continuation of their educational paths or in the process of professional reorientation, or helps them in looking for volunteer programs that allow those who want to stay close to their field of activity to provide their knowledge and experience.

Many have a very high level of education but, due to the legislative barriers in our country, they do not have the opportunity to practice. „We try to keep them anchored in their professional world as much as possible, facilitating certain volunteer programs”, explains Mihaela Sandu, the center’s coordinator. „There are people who really want to make a contribution and, unfortunately, do not have the opportunity to practice the profession that they had in their country, but they have this ability to adapt and open up – it is very important to be open, to be able to rebuild your way again, after all.”

There are many people who have to choose professional requalification or to find something temporary, and Hands Across Romania takes into account the professional interests and skills of Ukrainians and the possibilities they could find on the Romanian labor market, where most of them want to stay if they will find the proper conditions for them. Taking all these aspects into account, the association held CV workshops, professional requalification courses, job fairs organized specifically for Ukrainian refugees and post-fair interview sessions, providing support from the consultation phase to the employment one.

Although there are many pieces that Ukrainians have to put together from scratch, their resilience and their need to be involved, to help, offering their accumulated professional knowledge and being open to learning other trades are enviable traits.

And the team from Hands Across Romania, as Mihaela Sandu tells us, tries to encourage them „as much as possible to gain financial independence, so that the quality of their life could be improved.

VoHub is financed by CARE, through the SERA Romania Foundation, CARE France and FONPC within the CARE for Ukraine project.

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