Today, in Ukraine, there are many young women and girls whose future and rights are in danger and at risk. One of the main reasons is that there are more than one million refugees from Crimea and the eastern part of Ukraine. Young women are unable to continue their education in new areas and are forced to work long hours daily at low-paying jobs. Also, there are many young women without work and without an education. Some of them were forced to be refugees, some have husbands that are fighting in the eastern part of Ukraine. Some of them are divorced and therefore dependent on others, they lack confidence in their future. The situation is furthermore complicated by the fact that Ukraine ranks number one in Europe on the issue of human trafficking.
The goal of the I Can project is to increase young women’s awareness, skills and to empower their confidence in the future. This is done through conferences, lectures, seminars (on issues like health, human rights, parenting, self-development, preventing trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse, interpersonal relationships etc.) and skill training (computer skills, baking etc.). The result is that these women become better informed, confident, successful, employed and productive in Ukrainian society!
This year, we received a financial grant for the I CAN project from Sweden. The aim of the project is to support women in Ukraine and prevent poverty.
Last week, because of this grant, we were able to hold seminars and training for 11 young girls. Some of them were our newly graduated bakery students. Our speakers taught them about taking responsibility, making right choices, teamwork and communication, human trafficking and women’s values. One student wrote this: I have never been to a training like this. This was very encouraging, and I felt supported by it. I hope to be able to attend again. I sincerely hope that this knowledge will help the girls with their walk through life.
This week, 32 women in the city of Lviv are being trained to work on a computer, and they also receive counseling from a psychologist and/or lawyer (if needed). One of the participants of the project said: Thanks to this project I have a new desire to live and an interest in life back again. I am an old woman, my children and grandchildren are all grown up, but I still want to live a full life and be useful to others. This training helps me a lot; I will use this knowledge to help others.
Recently, we also had the opportunity to participate at a large conference for 92 women in the city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine. There were representatives of various community organizations, businesses, and charitable organizations. The issue raised during the meetings was the role of women in society and the rights of women in Ukraine. Women also shared their success stories and by doing so, they inspired others. At the end of the conference, many of them expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak, to talk about their problems and to find partners to share valuable information with.
Thanks to the project I can, we will soon start training women who are raising children with special needs and those who have been temporarily displaced. Women will receive the opportunity to learn new skills and be more self-reliant in this difficult time for Ukraine.
Please pray for Ukraine and especially those most at risk: children, elderly and women. You can sign up to be on our prayer team and receive a prayer guide twice a month here: ServeNow Prayer Team.