UCP Wheels’ empowerment programs link people with disabilities, and those that care for them, to local resources that can help them realize their personal abilities and capabilities. Our program team in Ukraine, together with Ukraine’s National Assembly of PWD (NAPD), conducts professional and vocational trainings, employer sensitization trainings, and small business trainings. Participants of the latter are eligible to enter a mini-grant competition, which provides winners with funding to start their own businesses.
Natalia Fedosova, an award-winning hairstylist and a certified teacher of hairdressing in Ukraine is the winner of one of those mini grants. This is her story.
Natalia certainly has her hands full. In addition to her busy professional life, she is also mom to two young boys, 13 year old Anton and 8 year old Alexander, who has cerebral palsy. Worried about being able to provide the right environment and care for Alexander on a small income, she attended vocational and small business training to help get her closer to her dream opening her own salon and school of hairdressing.
Not only did Natalia learn new skills and receive practical information about how to set up and run a business, she also won a mini-grant contest, which funded a new dryer and other hairdressing equipment. As a result, she has been able to open her own salon and has enrolled her first two students in a hairdressing masterclass!
“I am very grateful to the TEAM project for the training and the chance to reach a new level of professional activity. It will help me and my family to have a better standard of living and give me the ability to treat my child,” says Natalia.