Olga Dudnik came to the UK from Ukraine in May 22 as a refugee and immediately set about finding English classes. When she came to Hounslow House to register her status she was delighted to learn she was entitled to free ESOL classes and started her Functional Skills Entry 3 course in June with Hounslow Adult Education. Olga is still studying English and making excellent progress.
Olga was still employed by the Ukraine energy company DTEK as a senior manager in the education and technology division. She was spending up to eight hours each day on conference calls with her Ukrainian colleges and felt she was missing out on integrating into UK culture. Olga spoke with an adviser from Work Hounslow who pointed her in the direction of Ealing & Hounslow CVS. In no time Olga was running her own project “Walk and Talk” at Gunnersbury Park.
The CVS were so impressed with Olga they asked her to apply for a vacancy and Olga started in January and a Volunteering and Social Action Coordinator.
Olga’s sponsor read about the Royal Opera House project “Song for Ukraine” and urged her to apply. Out of 350 applicants Olga was one of the lucky 130 to be chosen. The two month project explored traditional Ukrainian music and culminated in a live performance at the Royal Opera House in March 16.
Olga now works part time for DTEK, part time for the CVS, volunteers and continues with her English studies. “I feel much more connected with UK culture and confident in myself” she said.