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Olga and her counsellor in Ukraine Credits: Caritas Belgium

Olga and her counsellor in Ukraine
Credits: Caritas Belgium

Olga had left her three children in the Ukraine to find work in Belgium.When she realised there could be opportunities to return to the Ukraine and set up a business in her home town, she turned to Caritas.

Caritas Belgium’s repatriation programme gives returnees help in finding a home and a way to make money. It offers medical and financial support as well as education and training. In 2009, Caritas prepared 215 people for repatriation. Of these, 186 went back home.

They helped Olga, who is a single mother, return home to her children. Once there, Caritas Ukraine, as part of the Solidarity Net, studied the business possibilities for Olga in the area. Her town didn’t have a hairdressers so Caritas Ukraine gave Olga money to buy the equipment she needed to set up a hairdressing business.

“We act as a bridge for migrants between Belgium and their home country, where we work closely with other Caritas members,” said Anne Dusard, Head of Social Programmes for Caritas Belgium.

Olga is now happily settled into her new life where she has the security of a job but can also take care of her children. But more importantly, she will see her children grow up and will be there for them along the way