United Way the Netherlands proposes a programme that will enable young Ukrainian refugees to take English classes. A new language will enrich their lives, whether they return to their home country or build a life elsewhere.

The situation in Ukraine has generated the largest refugee flow since the Second World War, in the shortest period of time. More than three million Ukrainian refugees have crossed international borders in less than three weeks. Conservative estimates put the number of new arrivals in the Netherlands at least at 100,000. A recent decision by the European Council to offer temporary protection to Ukrainian refugees means they are allowed to find employment and/or attend school.

A recent survey among new arrivals from Ukraine conducted by United Way the Netherlands (UW-NL) reveals the following.

  • Although a significant number of Ukrainian refugees are currently located in border areas with Ukraine, many of them are eager to proceed onwards to Western Europe.
  • The overwhelming majority of refugees are women and children.
  • Most express a desire to return to Ukraine as soon as the situation allows.
  • Most wish to be gainfully employed and/or learn to speak English.
  • In view of the short-term stay anticipated, there is less interest in acquiring Dutch language skills.

Seamless Match

UW-NL recently signed an agreement with an existing partner, a prominent and successful educational institute, which caters to children with a migration background. Founded 25 years ago, this Dutch NGO offers a range of courses to individuals aged between 6 and 18, who due to insufficient language skills are underperforming at school. A seamless match with the mission of United Way the Netherlands. After all, the support of disadvantaged population groups is at the heart of our activities.

The track record of our partner, which has been the subject of in-depth academic research, is impressive: the school currently teaches a total of 1,150 pupils at locations throughout the Netherlands. In view of the Ukrainian situation, the school has reserved 12 courses for Ukrainian students across the country. Experienced teachers and volunteers are ready to deliver intensive English-language training programmes to Ukrainian youngsters, enhancing their employability in the Dutch labour market and yielding further benefits once they return to Ukraine. In addition to offering brighter prospects for their future, the programme will also distract refugees from their mental and physical suffering.

Broad responsibility

It will be the task of UW-NL to bear responsibility for the organization, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the language programme and for the correct utilization of resources. Eager to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian refugees, several of our corporate and private partners have already approached us with offers of support. The cost of a four-month English-language course, including all teaching materials, is estimated at EUR 400 per person. 

Call for finance

Clearly, the available finance will be an important factor for the scale and duration of the programme, which can be organized at short notice. Given the stark realities facing the refugees, UW-NL is seeking further finance for the classes for young Ukrainian arrivals.  All funds will be used to prepare tailor-made curricula, to be delivered by experienced Ukrainian teachers drawn from our network in the Netherlands.

We have every reason to be confident that the programme’s impact will be significant and create lasting benefits for the beneficiaries. After four months of intensive training, participants will receive a certificate of achievement. Successful graduates can count on an introduction to one of our corporate partners for job openings or internships. 


For additional information please contact Cedar Cox-McAllister: cedar.cox-mcallister@unitedway.nl


  • Dariia says:

    I’m Dariia Avramenko, Ukrainian woman in the Netherlands. I know about your English intensive course for Ukrainian refugees. If it’s possible to start learn English with you? I have a plan to stay here and to find a job. That’s why I need to improve my language.

    Thanks for your support and help!

  • Yana says:

    I’m Yana Yaroshchuk, Ukrainian woman in the Netherlands. I live in Amsterdam now. I know about your English intensive course for Ukrainian refugees. If it’s possible to start learn English with you? I have a plan to stay here and i have a job. That’s why I need to improve my language.
    Thanks for your support and help!

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