Faith helps to make dreams come true

Apr 25, 2016

It’s not easy to start a business from scratch, especially when you are far away from home. However, everything is possible if you do not lose your faith and keep trying to do what you want.

“My name is Angelina and I am 19 years old. Due to military operations in Donetsk City, my family had to leave our native city hastily with one suitcase in our hands. We left everything in Donetsk: a comfortable home, our father's business, our mother’s job, the University where I was studying, and the school that my younger sister attended. Our world was destroyed in the dust,” wrote Angelina, an IDP from Donetsk. She wrote her letter to H.E. Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine to tell him about her life and thank him for the assistance for IDPs provided by the Government of Japan.

The beginning of this story is similar to that of thousands of other IDPs’ stories, but its outcome is truly fabulous. After relocating to Kiev, the family faced many problems: “We did not know how to carry on. Our modest money reserves rapidly depleted as we paid rent and bought food. My family was depressed. My parents could not find jobs. No one wanted to recruit them as they are over 40 years old,” explained Angelina.

Then Angelina saw an ad for a business startup grants contest that UNDP, together with the Government of Japan, had announced. Angelina and her parents drafted a business plan proposal in two weeks. “My parents didn’t believe that we could win. They told me that miracles happen only in the fairy tales, that everything is corrupted in the country, and that no one helps anyone. However, I believed, believed in the People of Japan. And here's the result - we got a grant!” Angelina said.

Now Angelina and her parents are honing the family business. They have a small studio to repair clothes and shoes and they have already employed six people - and all of them IDPs. The family is planning to grow their business and launch new sewing studios in the long-term. They have already added some services such as dry cleaning and repairing household equipment.

“We support those IDPs who have the skills necessary to achieve their goals. We want to see Ukraine stable. IDPs who had businesses in their native cities shouldn’t relax and wait for government support. They should run with their business. If they start their own business, they won’t depend on the government support. This will make society more sustainable[JL1] ,” H.E. Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine noted.

UNDP has supported 254 new business in eight target regions. New bakeries, barber shops, language courses, mushroom farms, pellet production facilities, and dozens of other businesses are being opened by IDPs and local residents of Donbas.

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