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Saturday courses help Ukrainians adjust
ukraine war

Saturday courses help Ukrainians adjust

by Emery P. DALESIO 2 min. 07.05.2022
American Chamber of Commerce and partners offer daylong crash course on living in Luxembourg
Ukrainians displaced by the war learned about how to adapt to life in Luxembourg At the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 30 April
Ukrainians displaced by the war learned about how to adapt to life in Luxembourg At the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 30 April
Photo credit: American Chamber of Commerce

Luxembourg's business community is adapting to the reality it and the rest of the EU will shelter Ukrainians who fled Russia's invasion for some time to come, a refugee influx that holds the potential of offering new talents.

A six-hour crash course on how to navigate life and business in the Grand Duchy drew dozens of Ukrainian immigrants on Saturday into a conference hall of the Luxembourg Chambre de Commerce in Kirchberg. 

The course, developed by members of the American Chamber of Commerce, covers essential details like how to rent or buy a home, register a car, change a driving license, open a bank account, enroll children in school and start a business. It was the second of what could be a series of Saturday sessions for the course, delivered in Russian by two AmCham members originally from Azerbaijan and supported by partners including state savings bank Spuerkeess, the Automobile Club of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Times

"We will continue to do it so long as there is a need," AmCham CEO Paul Schonenberg said.

Luxembourg has received applications from more than 4,000 Ukrainian refugees under the EU's “temporary protection status” programme, which allows the newcomers to work and their children to attend school for up to two years. As of a month ago, the refugees to Luxembourg were 60% women and girls and 35% minors, Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said.

The Saturday sessions revive an initiative AmCham started a decade ago to target new arrivals in Luxembourg with the information they needed to help them on their first days of integration, Schonenberg said. The courses were stopped during the Covid-19 crisis.

Four years ago, Luxembourg resident Sabina Mammadova adapted the course for Russian arrivals. She and her husband Bakhtiyar Mammadov now are sharing their survival tips in Russian, a language many Ukrainians speak.

Ukrainians displaced by the war learned about how to adapt to life in Luxembourg in a hall at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 30 April
Ukrainians displaced by the war learned about how to adapt to life in Luxembourg in a hall at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on 30 April
American Chamber of Commerce

The instructors found that one of the main questions for course attendees involved their car registration in Luxembourg. If the cars they used to drive to Luxembourg are registered here, they could face customs problems crossing back into Ukraine when the time comes to return home, the Mammadovs said in an update to AmCham members. 

Luxembourg's government also reacted this week to the need for more local response to the largest war in Europe for decades going on 2,000 km to the east.

Companies needing information on how to manage the disruptions now have a source in a new helpdesk created for the purpose. The Chamber of Commerce and the government's economy, foreign affairs and finance ministry said they are ready to find and share information that helps Luxembourg companies navigate the levels of problems the war has caused, the government said.

Despite the bloodshed in Ukraine, Chamber of Commerce President Luc Frieden said the tiny Grand Duchy must look outward and maintain trade with the rest of the world. “The Luxembourg economy depends on its international openness. International trade not only contributes to the prosperity of all, but also strengthens understanding and collaboration between nations," he said.


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