Goodness on loop: how blind people learn new professions in Ukraine
On the occasion of International Day of the blind people, we prepared a story about how a Kharkiv resident has helped visually impaired people and now conducts courses for them in the inclusive IT program. This project has brought people together from all over Ukraine and helps the blind to find a new place in life and a high-paying job online during a pandemic. How they do it, we learned firsthand.
32-year-old Lviv woman Kateryna is blind. She is a masseuse by profession. For some time she worked by training in a clinic. But when she was laid off because of the vacancy being closed, it was hard to find a job. For some time after losing her job, Katia had worked with old clients, but with the beginning of quarantine, even this opportunity to earn money dropped off. "It means close contact with people, and I'm scared to get infected," she says. The only way out was to change the profession. And then she learned about registration for IusITNetwork courses, where people with disabilities are taught a new profession: telephone sales.
"I'm losing nothing, so I tried," Katia says. Now she is already at the last step of her studies. In a few days, she'll have a "graduation": a competition among students, where they'll call actual clients from companies' partners. The most successful student will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to get a job freelance or in a partner company. So, over the past 2 weeks, the course organizers have already helped three students find jobs, Mykola Lahotskyi, a Lviv resident, and project curator, says.
Kateryna got into the second round of students. We learned about her from 25-year-old Denys Lutsenko from Kharkiv, a teacher, and the project's sponsor. We asked him personally about why he engaged in this venture besides his primary job and agreed not only to teach but also to subsidize the project.