Every year hundreds of orphans leave life in state-run institutions in Ukraine and face the challenge of choosing a direction for future education and work. To assist the orphans with this task is one of the main objectives of Orphans’ Future.
Orphans' Future was able to conduct a program in partnership with the Department of Education and Science of Ternopil Regional State Administration and with assistance from by our permanent partners, The Global Fund for Children, Mobile Work with Youth of "Caritas" represented by Natalia Kotsyuba and Youth With a Mission, Ternopil. In this Life Skills Training program called, 'On the Threshold of Adult Life', the 30 pupils of 8-11 grades, who are the future graduates of three orphanage-boarding schools of Ternopil region, (Berezhany, Ternopil and Nove Selo) were able to get additional skills and knowledge to better prepare them for life outside the orphanage. This program aims not only to assist with future education and work choices but also to develop the personal potential of each of the orphans, to increase their social competence, to encourage an attitude of taking responsibility for their future lives rather than adopting a consumer mentality where everything is expected to be done for them, and to help orphans to make healthy lifestyle choices.
During 19-20 March and 26-27 March 2016, 30 orphans have learned from trainers of the Ternopil Youth Employment Center about modern requirements for education and employment in Ukraine. During the workshops everyone had the opportunity to develop practical skills and abilities involved in choosing a future profession, considering educational qualifications needed, job searching and self-presentation. Through various exercises the orphans became aware of what knowledge and skills they need to acquire in order to work in the desired profession. The orphans were taught how to conduct their own job searches on the internet, as well as find information about various training courses. Orphans' Future provides the Information Resource Center for orphans in Ternopil where they can come at any time and use the skills they have learnt during the course with internet access available for job searches and educational purposes. The orphans also learned to fill the "draft" of their future resume and learnt about modern varieties of resumes, including video resumes and a number of examples of other creative resumes.
Over the two days more practical living skills were also taught to future graduates where they learnt to cook a breakfast and dinner for themselves, opening up a whole new world of cooking adventures and the orphans also were able to try their hands in workshops making soap and magnets and had many opportunities where they were able to actively discuss and share their experiences.
Here are some reviews of the orphans' training experiences:
"The most memorable part of the course was the training for finding employment because I am leaving the orphanage this year and I need to make some important decisions" - Volodya 17years old from Berezhany.
"This training was interesting for me. I learned a lot of new and useful things. How to go to a job interview, how to answer questions. I think all the advice that I heard in those 3 days I will take account of" - Luda 16 years old from Berezhany.
"I learned a lot of important things especially how to choose a profession. For me it was helpful that I learnt how to carry on a conversation with the employer” – Fedir 15 years old.
"Over the three days I most enjoyed cooking breakfast and a master class making soap. I also learnt things that I need to know for my future like how to make a resume, and also to answer questions on an interview with an employer and how to present myself" - Christina 15 years old from Ternopil.
"I learnt a lot about work and how to find it" - Emiko 15 years old from Nove Selo.
"I remember how we went shopping for healthy food and learnt how to prepare it. It was also good to take a break and enjoy the water park" - Misha 15 years old from Ternopil.
Orphans' Future would like to especially thank the international children's charity Fund, "The Global Fund for Children" whose continued generous financial support made this life skills training program possible and also thanks to the Department of Education of Ternopil Regional State Administration who often co-operate with Orphans' Future to provide the best educational opportunities for orphans.
Orphans' Future would also like to express our gratitude to the following Ternopil restaurants for providing free lunches for the orphans: "Khutir", "Cherchil’", "TEKO" and "Ternozavr." The lunches were delicious! And for proving some relaxing recreational opportunities during the training we thank the Ternopil aqua park, "Limpopo".