“Rokada” and Canada launch a career marathon for refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine

Charitable Foundation Rokada, with the generous support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives is launching the project “Development of youth, especially girls and women, among asylum seekers and refugees through education and vocational guidance”.

One of the main obstacles on the way of young refugees and asylum seekers to the integration in Ukraine and better living conditions is professional realization. Other cultural experiences, stereotypes, cases of stigma and discrimination, hinder the career growth of people who have chosen Ukraine as their new home. It is challenging for refugees and asylum seekers to understand the peculiarities of the Ukrainian labor market, to choose a future profession and appropriate education, to get a resume together correctly and to undergo an interview.

To help young people among refugees and asylum seekers choose their future profession and take the first steps in forming a cherished career path, CF “Rokada” organizes a career marathon – a series of training sessions during which professionals in various areas will share their own experiences, answer questions and give valuable advice to participants. A total of 96 young people will be able to attend training and decide on their future. Among all participants, the most motivated one’s will be invited to continue studying and improve their skills in self-presentation, teamwork, time management, personal finance, etc. After that, 24 selected participants will take training for youth leaders and learn about project management, communications, team building, and other topics.

All training will be held in cooperation with the MBA Kids International School of Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

— 4-5 September —

The first training for the first group of participants brought together three professionals and schoolchildren among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine. The training was opened by Mykola Dorychenko, co-founder and CEO of the MBA Kids International School of Entrepreneurship and Leadership for children and adolescents. He took the participants on a journey from four industrial revolutions to a foreseeable future with new demands. Creativity, emotional intelligence, analytical thinking, active learning, leadership, tolerance and openness are among skills that the speaker advised the participants to master for career success.

After that, Artem Gumenyuk, an experienced IT business analyst, introduced the audience to his profession. In addition to general information, such as salary, job search websites, the pros and cons of the profession, the speaker shared his own experience: what his working day looks like, and why constant self-development is necessary for success in his profession.

The third speaker took the participants behind the scenes of the world of television and introduced them to the main professions in the media. Vitalia Konischuk, head of a business line of 1 + 1 media school, spoke about the philosophy of the 1 + 1 media holding and the common values of the company’s employees. Refugees and asylum seekers shared their own creative ideas that they wanted to implement in the future, and also developed their skill of improvisation – one of the most important parts of public life.

On the following day, participants continued their acquaintance with new professions. Adrian Hernandez-Suarez, a hairdresser who specializes in men’s haircuts, shared the insights of his work. He showed the participants the tools he uses in his work, told them about the estimated salaries and the best strategies for communicating with clients.

Then, participants listened to the speech of a successful IT specialist Vladyslav Nestyrenko. He spoke not only about the IT industry in Ukraine and career opportunities in it, but also about his own experience of adaptation in Kyiv because Vladyslav is an internally displaced person from Donetsk.

After that, the lawyer Sofia Kostytska told about the first steps in the profession and the best training programs for beginners. Sofia also spoke about the difference between working in the public and private sectors. Finally, the speaker, together with the participants, discussed interesting cases of international law.

This is only the beginning of the career marathon, but the participants already have something to think about and skills to master. Anytime they can contact experienced speakers and always get professional advice from them.

—11 September—

The new training session for pupils among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine began with an inspiring speech of Tatiana Hernandez Suarez, business manager of Europe’s largest business club, “Young Business Club”. She told the participants about the importance of networking and communication for success in the profession. She also shared her own examples of how initiative can help to boost your career. So, Tatiana is a fashion designer by profession. And when one of the “Young Business Club” clients was looking for someone to sew a dress, Tatiana decided to put her name forward. Over time, one dress turned into a successful atelier and Tatiana’s own fashion brand.

After that, the participants learned about the profession of a motion designer from Dmytro Tkachenko, who works in the international computer game development studio “Voki games”. Using examples of his own work – videos for promoting games – Dmytro described the whole process of creating animation and sound design. He also told how to take the first steps in the profession, get a job and a salary range. Surprisingly, all you need to pursue a career as a motion designer is a computer and YouTube with tutorials for creating animation.

Then, Violetta Tuma, project manager in “” advertising agency, introduced the participants to the world of journalism, advertising and project management. How to have an interview, deal with responsibilities, understand what is native advertising or product placement – Violetta supplemented all these with her experience and interesting examples.

Finally, all the participants received certificates of training course completion. And the most active members of the group will be invited to continue participation in the career marathon soon!


—19 September —

On 19 September, two new groups of young people among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine began their journey into the world of professions. These boys and girls are studying, working and trying to find their place in the Ukrainian labour market. Each of the groups listened to three speakers.

All participants learned about the professions of the future and top skills for career development from Mykola Dorychenko, co-founder and CEO of the MBA Kids International School of Entrepreneurship and Leadership for children and adolescents. With his speech, he convinced them that when choosing a profession, they should only listen to their heart, not following financial rewards or someone’s advice.

Participants also attended trainings from an experienced event manager, Andriy Koval, and the owner of a full-cycle event agency, Yegor Prischepkin. Each with their own examples, they talked about different types of events, the advantages and challenges of the profession, and what exactly attracts them in their work. In addition, the participants learned how the profession has changed since the beginning of the pandemic and what to expect from the field of online events. Both speakers emphasized that stress resistance, communication skills and time management are the key to success in the sphere.

Oleksiy Shulga, the person who went from a construction worker to the owner of a construction company, devoted his speech to the opportunities in the construction business. The first group learned practical advice, estimated salaries and job search sites.

At the same time, the members of the second group learned about social media marketing. Diana Nazarenko knows everything about this topic. Flexibility, creativity and work from anywhere in the world – with this speaker grabbed the attention of the participants and shared with them part of her passion for social networks.

During the Career Marathon, a professional translator works with the speaker to reduce the language barrier to a minimum. Participants can ask questions and learn information in suitable language.


—  21-23 September —

Women and girls among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine often find themselves in a more vulnerable position: it is more challenging for them to find a job or begin studying due to stereotypes and prejudices. In order to provide each of them with the opportunity to learn, master new professions and be successful, at the Career Marathon we have several women groups. On 21-23 September, young and active participants of the Marathon mastered new professions, shared their own experiences and asked questions.

They have learnt  about new professions from manicure master, make-up  and  eyebrow artist, SMM-manager, IT-specialists, pastry chef and restaurateur. Mastering any of these professions will open the way for women to a career and self-sufficiency. That is why, in their speeches, all speakers tell how to master a profession, in particular on their own, where to look for vacancies, what salary to expect for a beginner and how to communicate with clients. And Mykola Dorychenko, co-founder and CEO of the MBA Kids International School of Entrepreneurship and Leadership for children and adolescents, told the participants about the skills that will help them in any profession: creativity, analytical thinking, emotional intelligence, active learning, leadership, tolerance and openness.


—  25-26 September —

From 11 to 18.30, non-stop trainings were held at the Career Marathon. On 25-26 September, two groups of refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine listened to the speakers and learned about new professions. Six professionals performed for each of the groups. They talked about the specifics of the barber job, how to turn your love of flowers into a floral design career, the mix of technical and creative skills in the work of a photographer, successful career in programming, creative and customer-oriented professions in television and other professions.

Young people among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine definitely have plenty to choose from for their future profession. Young men and women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan and many other countries of the world took part in the first stage of the Marathon and received certificates.

However, our Marathon continues. The second phase of the project will begin soon. We will select the most motivated participants who will continue to improve their own professional skills and learn about the labour market in Ukraine. Interesting master classes and acquaintance with successful Ukrainian companies await them.

–21 October–

A new stage of our Career Marathon has started! On 21 October, the first group of young people and pupils among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine began their acquaintance with successful Ukrainian companies. Ten participants visited the printing house “”, which performs the whole range of printing processes.

At one of the largest production premises of the printing house, its employees explained the entire print production process. The participants saw firsthand the scale and features of the production.

The company’s equipment park includes dozens of machines: cutting machines, digital printing machine, stitching machine, laminator, calendar paper punching machine, and other devices that help to produce thousands of copies of one document in a matter of minutes. The team of the printing house also explained to the participants the main stages of printing from the creation of the layout in professional graphic design programmes to the packaging of the final products in the warehouse.

And most importantly, the employees outlined the professions and specializations required to work in the field of publishing and printing, such as post-press operator, bookbinder, order manager, designer, and others. The participants also learned about career opportunities and the first steps in various professions in the publishing house.

–29 October–

The second excursion for pupils and youth among refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine took place in the office of one of the largest media holdings in Ukraine “1 + 1 media”, which includes 7 popular TV channels “1 + 1”,” 2 + 2”, “TET”, “PlusPlus” , “Bihudi”, “UNIAN TV” and “1 + 1 International”.

First, everyone visited the studio of the television news service (TSN), where the presenters cover the most important news for millions of Ukrainian viewers six times a day. The participants enthusiastically examined the studio and learned the peculiarities of different devices: how the teleprompter works, where the cameras and lighting devices are located.

In addition, refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine learned another interesting thing about the media holding – the company supports social initiatives and has specialists of Corporate Social Responsibility among its staff. Thanks to their efforts, the office is equipped with energy-efficient technologies and waste sorting bins, and employees regularly participate in marathons, clean-up activities, and blood donation initiatives.

Finally, the participants visited the company’s think tank, a newsroom, where employees prepare materials for TSN and the morning show “Breakfast with 1 + 1”. There, the participants were introduced to the professions of television: journalists, editors, correspondents, screenwriters and producers. They also visited the editing room, where the video editor works.

The participants learned that a whole team of professionals is working on each news release: cameramen, directors, producers, reporters, journalists and others. But the list of professions of the media does not end there, because the company employs financiers, marketers, designers, administrators, managers, analysts, IT specialists, PR specialists and others. And now the participants of our Career Marathon know for sure that one day they can join this list as well.


–29 October–

The trainings of the second phase of the Career Marathon began with a public speaking master class, led by business coach Anna Paliychuk. The three-hour training was a combination of theory and practice. First, the participants learned how to prepare for public speaking, how to make a portrait of your audience, and conquer stage fright. It turned out that public speaking is not only about preparing the text of a speech. More than 90% of your performance is a nonverbal part, such as gestures, facial expressions, body language, voice tempo and intonation. Participants learned the structure of the speech: how to successfully start the speech, what arguments to choose for the main part and how to end the speech properly. Participants were also told about the characteristics required for a good speaker, including humor, charisma, appearance, self-confidence and courage. In addition, Anna presented a free resource TED Talks, which contains examples of the best speakers on any issue. And watching these short videos will help to improve your own performance.

Practice is an integral part of the sphere of public speaking. Therefore, in order to better assimilate the knowledge gained, the participants performed several practical exercises. They learned storytelling, developed their imaginations and told their peers about themselves.

“Since the age of 8, I have dreamed to become an actress, and for this I need to learn how to perform publicly,” said 14-year-old Karine, who almost three years ago moved to Ukraine with her family from Russia. Recently, the girl began to attend acting courses at the Dovzhenko Film Studios, and at the Career Marathon she learns promising professions in Ukraine and plans her future. The public speaking training has become one of her favorites.


–5 December–

What is the most important skill in the 21st century? Creativity. However, the ability to generate innovative ideas is not an innate quality, but a skill that anyone can develop. The main thing is to find an experienced teacher.

The participants of the second phase of the Career Marathon took a master class on creativity from Andriy Koval, a business coach in the field of communications and personal growth, and the leading teacher of MBA Kids International. He told the participants how to use creativity in business and work. Thanks to innovative ideas and strategies Andriy made his way from a consultant to a head of department.

The participants had the opportunity to share their cherished dreams, and Andriy helped them to write a step-by-step plan for their implementation. After that, they joined a group task – storytelling, where, with the help of everyone’s imagination, they managed to create a fascinating story. Finally, Andriy talked about how to use personal associations and turn them into innovative ideas.


–12 December–

With the first job and the source of income, new opportunities appear: you can choose where to invest and what to save on. Financial literacy should be taught from a young age. After all, an increase in personal savings depends not only on the level of income, but also on the ability to manage finances.

Young participants of the Career Marathon attended a training on financial literacy, where they learned to plan their own budget. In addition, they learned about such a financial management tool as budgeting, and how to use it to achieve specific financial goals. Each of the participants tried to draw up their own budget and allocate funds correctly.

The trainer told how to track your own expenses and save, as well as income paths. It is a necessary foundation for responsible financial behavior. The knowledge gained will be useful to everyone, because financial literacy forms the right attitude to personal funds and helps to achieve new levels of material well-being. And the state of economic development and the welfare of society depends on the level of awareness of the population in financial matters.


–26 December–

In order for young refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine to become leaders of the new era, the final training of the second phase of the Career Marathon was dedicated to the topic of leadership. The trainer spoke about very different leaders who are changing the world: from Mark Zuckerberg to Jackie Chan, from Kylie Jenner to Elon Musk. Each of them can become an example to follow. Participants watched speeches and learned the biographies of famous people. It turned out that leaders are united by a sense of purpose: even after failing at some point, they continue to achieve their goals step by step.

And the participants were able to show their leadership skills at the training: they learned how to negotiate and take responsibility for organizing the process. In addition, they discussed leadership skills: management, responsibility, communication, planning, energy and charisma. The participants told which of these skills is their strong point, and which they want to develop in themselves.

In the end, everyone received certificates of successful completion of the second stage of the project. And the most motivated participants will continue to deepen their knowledge in 2022 during the third phase of the Career Marathon.



–8-9 January–

In early January, refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine from 18 to 35 years old from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria and Russia attended trainings for MBA Kids International teachers. They mastered the art of public speaking and developed creative skills: hours of new materials, useful life hacks, communication and practice.

At the master class on public speaking, the participants not only learned about the structure of a speech, the stages of preparing a speaker, the meaning of facial expressions and gestures, as well as methods for capturing people’s attention, but also practiced. Everyone had the opportunity to prepare and make a speech on a free topic in front of other participants. After the performance, they received feedback from the audience and the lecturer. Participants also learned about free resources where they can get new ideas and master their own skills. Now they will be able to continue their study of public speaking on the TED Talks platform, where everyone can find performances of the world’s best speakers.

Another important 21st century skill is creativity. The path from a dream to an innovative idea that can change the world is all about creativity. To help participants develop creativity and learn idea generation techniques. MBA Kids International teachers held a master class where they discussed the main creative methodologies, a set of tools for the development of creative thinking: TRIZ, lateral thinking, design thinking and CRAFT. They also mastered another technique: the dreamer, the realist, the critic. It is based on the coordination of three types of thinking, which will help you determine your goals and plan ways to achieve it.