Wohl £1.2m helps im­prove the job prospects of in­di­gent Ukraini­ans

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JESSICA ELGOT The aim is to get peo­ple off wel­fare

A £1.2 mil­lion grant from the Wohl Foun­da­tion is en­abling World Jewish Re­lief to launch a pro­ject giv­ing em­ploy­ment skills to poverty stricken Jews in Ukraine.

With the Prince of Wales as pa­tron, the Ukrainian Liveli­hood De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme will run over three years, fo­cus­ing on train­ing sin­gle women and young moth­ers. Some cour­ses may be opened up to men and non-Jews.

It will ini­tially op­er­ate in Krivoy Rog and Za­porozhye, ex­tend­ing into Kharkov in 2012. A sim­i­lar pro­ject ex­clu­sively for women has been run­ning in Moldova since 2009 and has trained around 200 peo­ple.

Katya Roshchyna — who has been ap­pointed over­all pro­gramme di­rec­tor — and Moldova scheme co-or­di­na­tor Alexandra Safronova were in the UK this week re­ceiv­ing WJR train­ing.

Ms Safronova r e ported t hat “Moldovan women take three years ma­ter­nity leave and when they re­turn to work they of­ten have no com­puter skills to do their jobs. These women could be highly ed­u­cated.

“Since 2009, many, many women have lost their jobs be­cause of the eco­nomic cri­sis.

“Em­ploy­ers like Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions. NGOs and other busi­nesses know we train women and so they come to us look­ing for peo­ple to fill po­si­tions.

“Some women go on to set up their own com­pa­nies.”

The free course teaches of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­ter­view skills and in­cludes a fort­night’s work ex­pe­ri­ence. There are plans to ex­pand it into busi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship. Child­care is pro­vided for par­tic­i­pat­ing moth­ers.

WJR pro­grammes man­ager Noah Bern­stein said the goal was to “move away from wel­fare into mak­ing the com­mu­nity sus­tain­able”.

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