Job Digital Lab with ING Italia: The story of Alla, from Ukraine, who is looking for a new job
“I participated in the Start Up Lab because I was looking for inspiration to do something concrete. I needed suggestions, ideas to understand how to invent a job. I need to believe that a future is possible.”
With the help of Nicoletta Vulpetti, a true lover of identity stories, the second edition of Job Digital Lab, the educational programme developed with ING Italia, presents the stories of the protagonists of personal and community change.
I was born in Lviv, in Ukraine. I came to Italy in 2004 and worked for 11 years in a McDonald’s, eventually becoming the manager. Then, things changed.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities opened a family house in Brescia. This is a house that provides free room and board to children suffering rare or oncological diseases and their parents, while children are being treated. I began working there and ended up becoming the manager once again.
It was both beautiful and very hard. I met families that were suffering, children that stayed with us for as long as three years to undergo long therapies. Our world was already populated by face masks, when most of us had no idea what they were.
Helping these sick children face their therapy means becoming part of their family. Often even their brothers would move into the house, as the therapy lasted long, and the family lived too far away.
These are lives that are turned upside down in a second. You are in the emergency room for a backache and suddenly you’ve been hospitalised without even a toothbrush and a diagnosis you can hardly pronounce.
In the upheaval that illness brings into the daily lives of common folk, you find yourself acting as a safety anchor. At the house, we try to help them solve bureaucratic problems, prepare the right documents, and daily issues that become insurmountable mountains when all their energies are dedicated to saving their children.
I worked there for five years and remember everything very clearly: every child, no matter how long they stayed. It was hard. We had a psychologist who helped us not to be overburdened by pain.
After an experience of that kind, it’s normal to become anxious. When my children complained of a pain, I never managed saying “relax, I’m sure it’s nothing!”
Now, I’d like to do something more tangible, an e-commerce site or a website for family doctors.
I participated in the Start Up Lab because I was looking for inspiration to do something concrete. I needed suggestions, ideas to understand how to invent a job. I need to believe that a future is possible.
My country is at war. My niece managed to escape to Poland, but a friend is still there, sleeping in cellars to avoid the bombings. My cousins live in Mariupol, and I have not heard anything from the since February 27.
My children ask me “Where’s Natasha?” but I don’t know what to answer. And in this drama, I must believe that there will be a future.