Stories of Change


Ekaterina Learns a New Skill

Healthy City is CWS’ local partner in Moldova that works to meet the basic needs of Ukrainian refugees while helping them establish a new life in Moldova. Through Healthy City, Ukrainian refugees were given the opportunity to attend vocational classes at the local academy, Tekwill. The following story is a testimony from one of these participants. 

My name is Ekaterina, I am 46 years old. I have a degree in economic management in the industrial sector. I have a husband and a young son with a disability.

I am from Odessa. I love Odessa with all the fibers of my soul and never wanted to move out of it. However, when the war began, we realized that our house, which is on a high floor, is very poorly located. There are many military and dual-use facilities around, and this increases the risks during shelling.

Since my husband and I were responsible for two people with disabilities (my son and mother), in May 2022 we decided to leave for Moldova for a better environment and peaceful life, where they don’t shoot.

In 2022 my company, where I worked in the marketing and advertising department, had to cut costs in order to pay at least those employees who remained in Ukraine. Because of this, I ended up on leave without pay.

I joined the course offered by Tekwill Academy in Moldova in May 2023 after seeing an announcement for Ukrainian refugees from Healthy City (Zdorovii Gorod)*. My goal was to improve my knowledge in graphic design. During the war, I plan to expand my competencies and gain new experience as a freelancer in a foreign market, where there is a consistently high demand for work with graphics and video.

The nice thing is that after only 5 weeks of training, I was able to receive an order for rendering infographics and materials on Pinterest for an English-language site.

Of course, 2.5 months of courses is just the beginning. Rookie Syndrome is inevitable.

When fulfilling orders, I lack automatism and speed. I have to finish learning something on the fly. However, the quality of teaching at Tekwill inspires optimism and self-confidence.

Our teacher had rich experiences. He was responsive to questions, prompted practical ideas and sorted out mistakes. All of this was great motivation.

In the future, a systematic and deep knowledge of graphic programs will improve my ability to earn money remotely. This is especially true for life in Moldova, where there are objective difficulties with working in my specialty. Thanks to all the organizers and sponsors for this training! With pleasure and with great gratitude I will take part in any new course in the field
graphic design.

CWS is grateful for our partner, UMCOR, whose support allows Ukrainian refugees like Ekaterina to access new opportunities. To learn more and support CWS’ work with Ukrainian refugees in Moldova, click here.