Ukrainian Library Helps Women Address Unemployment and Family Conflicts
Women in Katerynopil Central Raion, Ukraine are changing their lives for the better thanks to the local library. Through a grant from Bibliomist, the library hosts an emergency service for women called “Berehynia” (“Guardian”) and supports local residents suffering from family conflicts and unemployment. Domestic violence victims have become regular library users and are benefitting from online psychological counseling; community members are mastering IT skills; patrons are obtaining employment.
The librarians decided to launch this service after hearing from female patrons that they would like to master computers and use the internet to discuss social and psychological issues, as well as to learn about finding employment and establishing their own private businesses. A more structured survey followed: the members of the local women’s club used questionnaires to research ways to help women suffering from abuse at home, while the unemployed were surveyed by the volunteers of Katerynopil employment center.
Librarians worked to bring professionals together, including psychologists, small business specialists, and experts on trainings in conflict prevention and self-employment. Together they created electronic resources on psychology and business, and established a peer support service for the local women at the library. The project would have been impossible without the cooperation of numerous partners, including the raion employment center, Cherkasy Oblast Association for Business Development, raion newspaper Katerynopil Messenger, raion radio station, volunteers, and local residents.
The librarians are proud of the positive feedback from the patrons like Anna Dopira who found employment one month after the first training at the library. She shared, “I am especially grateful for the introduction to new approaches for professional development, becoming a valuable team member, and maintaining employment.” Anna added that the librarians and trainers offered valuable recommendations for her job search strategy and practical tips on writing resumes and cover letters, preparing for the job interviews, and evaluating the local employment market.