10 April 2024

Study Visit to the ÖIF

On April 5, participants of the Professional Integration HUB program undertook their second study visit, this time to the Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, ÖIF). The visit served as a platform for fostering deeper understanding and collaboration between the Ukrainian professionals and their Austrian counterparts.

The participants were privy to presentations and discussions led by ÖIF experts, gaining invaluable insights into Austria’s integration policies, programs, and practices.

Beyond the ÖIF staff, our very own program interns currently stationed at ÖIF played an instrumental role in orchestrating the visit. Their proactive involvement exemplifies the dedication and professionalism of Ukrainian specialists in international settings. Special commendation to Olesia Kyselova and Olena Tereshchuk for their exemplary representation and professionalism throughout the event.

As a token of appreciation and a gesture of cultural exchange, the participants were presented with heartwarming gifts, notably a bilingual German-Ukrainian book. This symbolic gift not only underscores the importance of linguistic and cultural understanding but also serves as a lasting memento of the visit.

Here are some photos from the event:

21 March 2024

Study Visit to Caritas Austria

On March 15, the first study visit was held as part of the Professional Integration HUB program. The participants visited Caritas Austria and learned many interesting facts about this organization. Here are some of them:

    • Caritas means «love» in Latin.
    • Caritas has more than 160 national offices around the world. Caritas Austria employs over 16 thousand people.
    • Caritas is one of the two largest humanitarian organizations in the world. The first, the Red Cross, focuses primarily on emergency medical and humanitarian aid, while Caritas provides social support.
    • The HUB participants had the opportunity to visit the Gruft Shelter, which has been considered the most famous Caritas facility for the homeless in Vienna for over 30 years. Here, people on the street are offered safe shelter and human warmth. 365 days a year. Twenty-four hours a day! In the crypt, the victims receive a warm meal, a place to sleep, clean clothes and the opportunity to take a shower. The night shelter is located right under the Church of Mariahilf in one of the central districts of Vienna.
    • Caritas receives funding from: subsidies and grants from public institutions and church contributions (€136.89 million), donations and church contributions (€137.1 million), in-kind gifts and donations (€15.44 million), and Reimbursement from services (e.g state-care) (€819.8 million).

 

Follow our social media pages! We have already planned the next study visit for the participants of the Professional Integration HUB!

5 March 2024

Opening of the Professional Integration HUB in Photos

Last Friday, March 1st, we celebrated the opening of our Professional Integration HUB internship program!

All participants of the program attended the event. They were addressed by Boris Marte, the CEO of ERSTE Foundation, Yana Barinova, the manager of the Ukrainian Desk at ERSTE Foundation, and the core implementing team of the European Centre for Freedom and Independence, Olena Bekreniova and Olga Olefirova.

We believe that this program will be a significant step in the professional growth of our participants and will help them successfully integrate into the European professional environment. From March 4 to May 31, 2024, participants will undergo an internship in leading Austrian institutions and organizations.

Thank you to everyone for your support and participation in this important event. The Professional Integration HUB is initiated and funded by ERSTE Foundation. The project is implemented by the European Centre for Freedom and Independence.

 

4 March 2024

Results of the Selection of Participants in the Program

 

Following the selection process, 13 finalists of the “Professional Integration HUB” program have started their internships in Austrian organizations in early March 2024

On January 24, the results of the selection of participants in the “Professional Integration HUB” program were announced. Thirteen finalists will undergo a 3-month internship in leading institutions and organizations in Austria. The program is designed for Ukrainian professionals residing in Austria due to russia’s war against Ukraine, aiming to facilitate their integration into the European professional environment. The project is initiated and funded by ERSTE Foundation and implemented by the European Centre for Freedom and Independence.

PARTICIPANTS

Applications were accepted from December 4, 2023, to January 7, 2024. During the five weeks, the project team received 220 applications from Ukrainian professionals, which proves high interest and demand for the initiative. The “Professional Integration HUB” was initially planned for 12 participants, and the selection process determined the final number.

The project team selected 13 professionals from Ukraine residing in Austria to participate in the program. From March 4 to May 31, 2024, participants will undergo an internship in leading Austrian institutions and organizations.

  • Mariana Strepko – Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research of Austria;
  • Daria Driuchenko – Federal Ministry of Culture, Arts, Civil Service, and Sport of Austria;
  • Viktoria Shvaher, Kateryna Tymoshenko – Caritas Austria;
  • Olena Sushkova – ERSTE Foundation;
  • Olesia Kyselova, Olena Tereshchuk – Austrian Integration Fund;
  • Kateryna Tebiakina – European Forum Alpbach; 
  • Maria Pylypenko – Belvedere Museum;
  • Matilda Cherednichenko – Salzburger Kunstverein; 
  • Anastasia Teslenko – Viennacontemporary;
  • Nataliia Sherimbetova, Khrystyna Skorokhod – WIENXTRA.

 

SELECTION PROCESS

Concluded on February 1, 2024, the selection process consisted of three stages: technical selection, intermediate interviews with representatives of ERSTE Foundation and the European Centre for Freedom and Independence, and final interviews with representatives of the institutions hosting the interns. Key requirements included residence and work permits in Austria, proficiency in English, higher education and work experience in the various fields depending on internship position. Additionally, internship hosts had their specific requirements.

STATISTICS

Statistics show that the majority of applications came from women (87%) with an average age of 37 years old, currently residing in Vienna and its satellites (73%), with a high level of English proficiency (88.7%) and intermediate German skills (60.7%), without permanent employment (61%), but with strong professional background. Most of the applicants have experience in the public sector and business. Representatives of civil society and the NGO sector are in minority.

Most of the participants come from middle rank management. A Considerable part is composed of teachers, university professors, and researchers, as well as entrepreneurs, individual players, freelancers, consultants in different fields, from art to grant management. Small number of applicants come from top management positions, CEOs and owners of small businesses.

Before the start of the internship, from February 2 to 29, finalists of the program had been attending an intensive German language course provided by the Austrian Integration Fund specifically for the program. Additionally, the program includes study visits, joint meetings for participants and a final conference. 

Thank you to everyone who applied to the program. We look forward to your participation in future initiatives of the “Professional Integration HUB”!

7 February 2024

List of Program Participants

The project team selected 13 professionals from Ukraine residing in Austria to participate in the program. From March 4 to May 31, 2024, participants will undergo a paid internship in leading Austrian institutions and organizations.

Mariana Strepko – Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research of Austria;

Daria Driuchenko – Federal Ministry of Culture, Arts, Civil Service, and Sport of Austria;

Viktoria Shvaher, Kateryna Tymoshenko – Caritas Austria;

Olena Sushkova – ERSTE Foundation;

Olesia Kyselova, Olena Tereshchuk – Austrian Integration Fund;

Kateryna Tebiakina – European Forum Alpbach;

Maria Pylypenko – Belvedere Museum;

Matilda Cherednichenko – Salzburger Kunstverein;

Anastasia Teslenko – Viennacontemporary;

Nataliia Sherimbetova, Khrystyna Skorokhod – WIENXTRA.