Help for the Ukrainians
Like most of the regions in EU, also South Ostrobothnia has been able to provide help and safe surroundings for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. At first there were quite many people arriving but now the situation in South Ostrobothnia seems to be stabilizing. Now there are not any large numbers of arrivals, which are known, but there are some arrivals constantly, nonetheless. In the middle of August 2022, the number of Ukrainians in South Ostrobothnia was around 1550. In June 2022 they were around 1250 so there is still constant increase. There are also some people who are now returning to Ukraine or moving somewhere else. Ukrainians, who have decided to stay, have been able to find jobs quite well, and the children have started local schools. There have been minor recruitment difficulties with teachers in schools. Helping the Ukrainians has been viewed positively by the municipalities, volunteers and other organizations.
Some of local actions that have been taken place are forming “Ukraine groups” which operate in municipalities/subregions and hiring additional staff in several municipalities. There have been also several recruitment events organized. Local actors in the region have been able to provide adequate amount of education, for example language courses.
Most of the Ukrainians who come to South Ostrobothnia are women and children. Women are well educated, but only few speak English. Most of them want to get a job and study Finnish language. Quite a few are already employed even if the biggest obstacle is language skills.