Dmytro Milashchuk: "The Ukrainian" platform has united more than 100 Ukrainian psychologists who actively aid refugees"

Dmytro Milashchuk

Dmytro Milashchuk was a successful coach from Switzerland until February 2022, helping people find themselves, new jobs, and build their lives. However, after the tragic events of last February, he left his job. He simply realized there were no longer enough resources to engage in anything other than volunteering.

First and foremost, no emotions or strength were left to engage in any other activity. He just wanted to help people in a difficult situation because of the war. A few weeks after the start of the war, Dmytro created "The Ukrainian" platform, which combines several important directions for helping Ukrainians.

In our conversation with Dmytro Milashchuk, we'll talk about the directions he has created on his platform and how they can be helpful to Ukrainians.


How did you react to the news of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine?

 - To be honest, for me, the war started back in 2014. My wife and I were involved in volunteering, helping those on the front lines and those working with the military. That's why on February 24, 2022, it wasn't shocking news for me, as everyone could see that the invasion and a big war were being prepared. But after it all began, I was shocked in the first few hours. However, on February 25, we started to help. We helped with information and organizing trips for all our acquaintances and friends who had to leave the country. It can be said that my life has changed dramatically over the past year. Within the first few days after the start of the big war, I decided to stop any other activity and only focus on volunteering.

So, can we say that the war has impacted your life?

 - Yes, despite the fact that I haven't been living in Ukraine for quite some time, I have always maintained connections with my homeland. My parents are there, and I have many friends. And even though I haven't been residing in Ukraine for a long time, it is a personal pain for me, so to speak, a personal war. My parents live in the city of Kremenchuk in the Poltava region. The city is quite far from the front line, but it has been subjected to rocket attacks numerous times. My parents had to leave Ukraine for several months. They are elderly, and they needed to be taken out for a while to recover. However, after that, they made the decision to return. And now they live under constant air raid alarms.

Please tell me about your volunteering project and its main areas of assistance.

 - In the early days, when it became clear that millions of people were heading to Europe, I started a project focused on employment assistance. The initial idea was to open an employment agency to help Ukrainians find suitable job opportunities. However, I quickly realized that many platforms and foreign companies and governments were already addressing this issue. Therefore, I decided to create a platform that would bring together all the recruiting agencies offering employment opportunities to Ukrainians. This gave birth to the project "Hire the Ukrainian" on the platform called "The Ukrainian." It became an information hub for both job seekers and employers. Essentially, this platform unified all the existing platforms and agencies at that time, which provided employment opportunities for Ukrainians in Europe and beyond. There were even several job offers in the United States, Canada, and Asian countries.

In addition to job listings, also provides valuable advice on improving qualifications, language learning, creating resumes, and insights into employment specifics in different countries.

There are already results...

 - Yes. Since its opening in early March 2022, the platform project has been visited by nearly fifteen thousand unique job seekers. We don't directly employ them but provide informational support. They have conducted over twenty-one thousand sessions on the website. Additionally, there have been consultations on employment and resume creation. In other words, everything related to job search and anything that can help in that direction.


Over time, have you developed other directions for assisting Ukrainians?

 - I did. I am a professional coach with over twenty years of experience working with people. I worked as a director of personnel development in one of the largest international corporations. This led to the project "Coach the Ukrainian", which is aimed at Ukrainians residing in Switzerland. The project involves both Ukrainian coaches and coaches from Switzerland. We help people open a new chapter in their lives through coaching, which is a powerful tool for personal development. We assist individuals in understanding where they want to move forward at this moment. It's no longer possible to go back to February 23rd, but it's necessary to move forward and build their lives. Over a hundred and seventy people have reached out to us in this direction. They have all received valuable information. We have also conducted nearly fifty personal sessions.

As part of the #coachtheukrainian project, we also record podcasts with information that can be useful for people who currently reside or wish to continue living in Switzerland. They may be seeking employment and housing. On the website, you can find and listen to podcasts on various topics that arise for migrants when living in Switzerland.

Another project on the platform is "Mental Health" - psychological assistance for Ukrainians. The project brings together over 100 Ukrainian psychologists from various specialties who help Ukrainians with psychological adaptation to new living conditions and raising children. They work in both Ukrainian and Russian languages. Initially, we offered free consultations, but now we have transitioned to having people make donations for the work of these specialists. After all, another goal of this project is to support psychologists. They are also Ukrainians who cannot work for free indefinitely.

Over time, a project focusing on the rehabilitation of Ukrainian military personnel and assistance to their families emerged from this direction - NIKA. Personally, this is one of the most important aspects of the project and my entire volunteer work. Since 2014, we have witnessed that the reintegration of veterans into civilian life and society has been a painful issue. Much military personnel return with emotional challenges. Every soldier, regardless of their experiences, comes back as a different person, and efforts need to be made to help them with their reintegration. This is what the project, which we organized together with military psychologists currently working in Ukraine, specifically in Kyiv and Zaporizhia, focuses on. They provide support to veterans and assist the spouses of military personnel in dealing with the psychological issues that arise. In the future, I believe this will be the most crucial problem for Ukrainian society after achieving victory - reintegrating hundreds of thousands of veterans into civilian life. It will require a significant amount of resources and projects dedicated to the rehabilitation of veterans.

These are all the project directions we are involved in. They are all unified under the project "The Ukrainian," which aims to bring together proactive and active Ukrainians, regardless of where they reside, so that they can contribute their efforts to the recovery and rebuilding of the country after victory, as well as European integration.

So, Ukrainians can reach out to you and receive a full range of assistance...

Indeed, yes. We have qualified specialists in many areas. After we speak with an individual or after they explore everything available on the platform, we can determine what they specifically need at the moment because everything is interconnected. To start a new life, one needs to manage their emotional well-being. This is where the "Mental Health" project comes in. If a person has made progress and is ready to move forward, we can assist them through coaching. For job seekers, there are ample informational resources on the "Hire the Ukrainian" project that can help them find a new profession, or job, or choose a country where they wish to reside. There is also a project available for military personnel in need of psychological support.

Another advantage of the "The Ukrainian" platform is that if you have your project dedicated to the recovery and support of Ukraine, and you wish to develop it, you can come to us with that project, and we will help move it forward. We will assist with advice, experience, and everything we have gone through ourselves over time.

If we analyze the past year, what was the most challenging for you during this period? 

For me, the most difficult aspect was maintaining my emotional well-being and continuing to help people, regardless of how challenging it was. Because, indeed, especially in my area of volunteer work, when you assist others, it can be emotionally demanding. You absorb all the tragedies and everything that happens to the people you're helping. To recover, it's necessary to temporarily shift your focus completely to another activity. Taking occasional breaks and allowing myself time to recharge is crucial. It's normal and necessary to occasionally switch gears. I simply put all projects on hold and take a short vacation or break for a few days to rejuvenate and avoid burning out. Small trips also contribute to this process. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to travel, and I take advantage of it to restore myself. Traveling is truly a way for me to maintain my emotional well-being. It's something that greatly helps me.


You have visited over 70 countries around the world. I understand that traveling is more than just a hobby for you... 

Traveling is a way of life, it's the feeling of freedom it brings. Because freedom is very important to me. And secondly, it's the opportunity to meet incredible people, which I greatly value. 

What are the future plans for the project?

I believe that there is no need to add new directions; we already have plenty to work with. Unfortunately, even if the war ends tomorrow, which is not guaranteed, the crisis associated with it will continue for years, and we need to be prepared for that. We need to establish all the necessary resources to help those affected by the war and assist in the reconstruction efforts. All the main directions of our project will continue and evolve. We will engage more people and seek financial sponsorship. I work with very interesting and capable individuals in each of our project areas. Together, we will continue to build a community of Ukrainians who help one another and contribute to the recovery of our country.


Links of assistance projects for Ukrainians on the "The Ukrainian" platform and social media:

The Ukrainian

Hire The Ukrainian

Coach The Ukrainians

Mental Health

Nika Help Center



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