“100 per cent of participants now have a job”

Participants in the project Care for Ukraine standing in front of Botildenborg.

Publicerad: 24 February 2023

In the project Care for Ukraine, the Botildenborg in Malmö Foundation offers refugees from Ukraine who are in Sweden under the Temporary Protection Directive networking opportunities and support to make their way in Swedish society. Thanks to language courses and work training, after only two months all of the Ukrainians who have participated in the project now have a job to go to.

“We work on two fronts that we think are key to how successful we have been. Firstly, we make every effort to ensure that the Ukrainian refugees who come to us can feel secure. We want them to be able to settle in so they have the courage to develop their Swedish language skills. Secondly, we maintain close contact with employers in order to match participants to the right job,” explains Lena Friblick, founder and operations manager at Botildenborg.

Participants learn Swedish words used in cooking.

Contacts, contacts, contacts

The Care for Ukraine project started in October 2022. It is financed by the European Social Fund via the Swedish ESF Council. When the war in Ukraine broke out in late February 2022, the EU decided to invoke the Temporary Protection Directive to help people fleeing the country. This involved targeted initiatives to help women and men enter the workforce and participate in society.

The Botildenborg in Malmö Foundation has long experience of helping newly arrived migrants who are far from the labour market to find jobs.

“Statistics show that 7 out of 10 jobs are filled through personal contacts and it is very difficult for anyone newly arrived in Sweden with no knowledge of how things work here to come into contact with employers. It is therefore vital that we can build bridges between our Ukrainians and employers out there,” says Friblick.

“Of course, the vast majority of those who come to us want the war to end quickly so they can return home to Ukraine as soon as possible. Still, from experience we know that many of them will remain in Sweden. Perhaps their children will settle quickly into society and then I feel that it’s important that they establish themselves on the labour market as soon as they can. Otherwise there is a risk that the years will pass simply waiting to return home and, in the end, all they will have done is wait.”

Participants in the project prepare food and learn the Swedish language.

“Language cultivation” in focus

Two days a week, participants gather in the gardens at Botildenborg to “cultivate language”. This is a chance to learn the Swedish language, speak to other Swedish language volunteers, learn to grow vegetables or perhaps cook their favourite dish from their homeland.

“Language cultivation is so important for the people who come here. After only a few weeks we can see that our participants are becoming more relaxed. Those I have interviewed after the project say that language cultivation was very important. One women described it as beginning to smile again after a very long time,” says Friblick.

“Language cultivation” is well underway in the garden at Botildenborg. The idea is to learn more about cultivation while learning the Swedish language.

Facts about CARE

On 6 April 2022, Regulation (EU) 2022/562 of the European Parliament and of the Council was passed amending Regulations (EU) No 1303/2013 and (EU) No 223/2014 as regards Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE). The purpose of the amendments was to provide greater flexibility within the programme to deal with the migration challenges presented by the war in Ukraine. The Swedish ESF Council still has open calls for funding from CARE and projects can run until 30 September 2023.

Svenska ESF-rådet har fortfarande utlysningar öppna inom Care och projekt kan fortlöpa fram till 30 september 2023.