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JA Europe and UNICEF partner to support young Ukrainian refugees

24 October 2022

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Junior Achievement Europe are launching a new partnership to support young Ukrainian refugees across Europe.

The partnership, called UPLIFT Youth, aims to equip the most vulnerable youth and adolescents who arrived from Ukraine to neighbouring countries, with the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. The local youths will also be part of the project, to foster integration and social cohesion among young people, while also giving them a chance to transition from learning to earning.

Eleven countries will take part in the project - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia, with the support of JA Greece, JA Italy and JA Ukraine.

By combining their expertise and experience, UNICEF and JA Europe aim at increased youth engagement, participation and resilience, contributing to improved youth employability, a competitive labour force, sustained economic growth, improved governance, and vibrant civil societies in Europe.

Nina Ferencic, Regional Adviser on Adolescent Development at the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, said: “UNICEF has worked closely with several national JA organisations in the past and we are delighted to embark on this pan-European project. JA Europe and UNICEF, working together with national partners and young people, are in a unique position to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of young Ukrainians and young people throughout Europe, promoting shared values of respect and solidarity.”

Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe, said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures: we are very grateful to UNICEF for believing in the power of JA. Together, we bring decades of experience and expertise, and share a clear focus to make the integration of young Ukrainians into their new lives more successful. It is a true honour for JA Europe to work with a Nobel Peace Prize winner.”

Mariam, a 18-years old girl from Somalia who took part in a recent JA Greece – UNICEF project, shares: “I enjoy my job as we work as a team. I have learnt how to communicate with different people from different cultures. In the future, I imagine myself studying languages.”

The project will run from July 2022 until the end of 2023, in 11 countries, with the ambition to be rolled out in more countries across Europe.

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