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Dasha’s story M a r t i n ’s s to r y
Dasha’s dreams of her two
young sons growing up
in the countryside were
shattered when Russian
separatists invaded her
town in the east of Ukraine.
Terrified for her children’s
safety, Dasha grabbed a
handful of possessions and
the family fled. Somehow
they made it onto the
penultimate train to leave
Donestk and managed to
get to Kiev.
With a law degree and
experience working in a
law firm, Dasha imagined
finding work would be easy
but classed as an ‘Internally
Displaced Person’ no-one
would employ her. Then
an internet post from
a Jewish organisation
offering sewing repair
“We felt that we were
not alone. Now I
have the feeling, 24
hours a day, that I
am part of a very
big Jewish family.”
classes as part of their
employment training
caught her attention
and Dasha raced to sign
up. Here she learned the
skills necessary to find
work as a seamstress, but
also the emotional and
psychological support she
needed to move on and
build her new life.
“One of the things
I saved from the
house was this
menorah, which
I got from my
It is very
precious to me.”
When news came to his
village that ISIS were
about to invade, Martin
and his family fled for their
life. Arriving in Lebanon,
the family were safe but
further tragedy was about
to strike when his mother
got cancer and died. Martin,
his father and two younger
siblings were then brought
to the UK in 2017 under
the vulnerable children’s
resettlement scheme. With
his father battling illnesses,
it fell to Martin to go out
to work to look after the
Not knowing where to
begin, Martin joined our
Specialist Training and
Employment Programme
(STEP), which developed
from our global response
to the refugee crisis,
particularly focused on
integrating refugees into
UK society by helping them
to find employment. Here,
we helped him build the
language and employment
skills he needed to secure
a job.
“It gave me that
energy to start
working, not be
afraid, and trust
yourself, even if you
don’t speak the right
Martin was thrilled when
our team offered him work
experience in Waitrose and
this training opportunity
quickly led to the offer of a
paid position.


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