Oct 2022 / Learners

A group of Ukrainian teenagers, who are studying with ACT, enjoyed a fascinating trip to St Fagan’s National Museum of History.

For a special Enrichment Day, they explored the sprawling heritage site, which includes more than 40 traditional buildings from different periods of Welsh history, including houses, a farm, a school, a chapel and even a castle. During the visit on Wednesday September 21, they were given a glimpse of Welsh life, across many generations.

Enrichment Days form part of the Jobs Growth Wales+ (JGW+) programme delivered by ACT. JGW+ is open to anyone living in Wales aged 16-18 and not in full-time education, employment or training. The programme is designed to cater and fit the individual learner’s needs, providing them with a weekly training allowance of up to £55 a week and tailored support in finding work, a route-specific qualification and more. The Enrichment Days act as a gateway to enable learners to participate in experiences they would not normally have the chance to. By providing access to activities taken for granted by more advantaged peers, they help address inequalities. They also support the development of work-related skills, such as teamwork and communication.

Learners were accompanied to St Fagan’s by Learning Coach Diana Oleksiuk, who is herself a Ukrainian national who began working with ACT a few months ago. Like the learners, she came to Wales following the outbreak of war, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian students – who are learning English on our ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) programme – said they all enjoyed the wonderful Welsh sights at St Fagan’s.

Tamara Podolska,16, said:

There were really old buildings from across Wales, that had been taken apart and rebuilt at the museum. It was very nice that there were some old shops, so we could see how it looked hundreds of years ago. It was really cool as it was so vintage. Really great!

She added that the historic structures and sights of Wales have been wowing her, throughout her short time here. She continued: “Since coming to Wales, I like that there are a lot of castles and beautiful parks. Also, there are kind people!”

Veronica Nahovna, 17, also said the eye-opening St Fagan’s trip was a highlight of her time with ACT, Wales’ leading training provider. “I started at ACT a few weeks ago, I really like studying here,” she said. “Especially since I love socialising with new people, travelling and improving my English skills.”

Learning Coach Diana Oleksiuk, who’s from the city of Chernivtsi, in the west of Ukraine, said the learners found stepping into the past of Wales, at the museum site, captivating. She added: “The St Fagan’s trip made us realise just how much Welsh and Ukrainian people have in common! Welsh people are very friendly and welcoming. It was a lovely day and one to be remembered!”

Diana, who has taught for more than 15 years, said the positive day at St Fagan’s really made them realise just how alike Welsh and Ukrainian people are, so they hope to one day invite some residents of Wales to Ukraine, when there is peace.

She said: “It will be so nice to welcome Welsh people to Ukraine, once the war has finished, to compare traditions and show how Ukrainians live.

“It’s a really difficult time now, but I think it’s also the time for opportunity, to show young people different cultures and improve their language skills.”

For more on the range of training option available at ACT, please click here.