Ukrainian teenagers enjoy a trip to St Fagan’s National Museum of History
As part of a special Enrichment Day, a group of Ukrainian learners who are studying with ACT explored the sprawling heritage site and were given a glimpse of Welsh life, across many generations.
Enrichment Days form part of the Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+) programme delivered by ACT and act as a gateway to enable learners to participate in experiences they would not normally have the chance to. By providing access to activities taken for granted by more advantaged peers, they help address inequalities and support the development of work-related skills, such as teamwork and communication.
Learners were accompanied to St Fagan’s by Learning Coach Diana Oleksiuk, who is herself a Ukrainian national who began working with ACT a few months ago. The Ukrainian students – who are learning English on ACT’s ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) programme – said they all enjoyed the wonderful Welsh sights at St Fagan’s.
Tamara Podolska,16, said: “There were really old buildings from across Wales, that had been taken apart and rebuilt at the museum. It was really cool! Since coming to Wales, I like that there are a lot of castles and beautiful parks. Also, there are kind people!”
Learning Coach Diana Oleksiuk, who’s from the city of Chernivtsi, in the west of Ukraine, said the learners found stepping into the past of Wales, at the museum site, captivating. She added: “The St Fagan’s trip made us realise just how much Welsh and Ukrainian people have in common! Welsh people are very friendly and welcoming. It was a lovely day and one to be remembered!”
Diana, who has taught for more than 15 years, hopes to one day invite some residents of Wales to Ukraine, when there is peace.
She said: “It will be so nice to welcome Welsh people to Ukraine, once the war has finished, to compare traditions and show how Ukrainians live. It’s a really difficult time now, but I think it’s also the time for opportunity, to show young people different cultures and improve their language skills.”
Jobs Growth Wales+ is a training and development programme for 16-18 year olds that give young people the skills, qualifications and experience they need to get a job or further training.
Jobs Growth Wales+ is a Welsh Government programme included in the Young Person’s Guarantee. It is part-funded by the European Social Fund.