IÉSEG joins forces with the association “Portail de l’Ukraine” to support refugees

Commitment is one of the core values of IÉSEG, which brings it to life on a daily basis through numerous initiatives. This year, the war in Ukraine has marked a large number of people who wanted to get involved in helping and supporting Ukrainian refugees in France. This is notably the case of several IÉSEG professors* who decided to give their time to offer French classes to refugees by joining forces with Portail de l’Ukraine, a cultural association created in September 2014 in the Hauts-de-France.


This project, initiated by language professors, including Ludmila Cherenko, a Russian teacher who already knew the association “Portail de l’Ukraine”, was launched in May and will last, in a first stage, until mid-July. Fifteen French as a Foreign Language (FLE) courses have been offered on the Lille campus to Ukrainians of all ages and levels who have fled their country because of the war, so that they can manage everyday tasks (shopping, filling out forms, asking for a price at the market, etc.). Distance learning courses are also offered to facilitate access to the courses. In total, 7 teachers are involved in the project to supervise 20 adults and children.

Aligned with the School’s values of commitment and solidarity, this project was very close to our hearts. Indeed, we wanted to help these Ukrainians who had to leave everything behind, and to be useful to them. Now, we see smiles on their faces again, and we receive thanks regularly. It is very gratifying. They are also very demanding of personal work, they are invested and really want to learn. For us teachers, it’s a great project that allows us to work as a team in an interdisciplinary way and that is very rich in human and personal terms,” says Sophie Vanwynsberghe, a French as a Foreign Language teacher.

Carmen Campillo, coordinator of multicultural projects at IÉSEG, adds: “I think I can say, on behalf of the professors involved in this initiative, that we are happy to see that we are contributing together to help these people in difficulty, even if it is not much compared to what they are going through right now. But we are pleased to see their progress as the classes go on. The feedback is positive and we feel really helpful.

Katerina , a participant in the French course, testifies: “I am sincerely grateful to all the teachers who are helping us to survive in this difficult situation while we have a war in our native Ukraine. Without fluency in French, it is very difficult in every respect – in everyday life, in the store, in talking to the children’s teachers at school, at the bank… IÉSEG professors have developed for us a “language course for survival in France”, which has everything a foreigner needs when settling down.

The courses are always interesting and informative. The teachers convey good mood and positive energy. I really appreciate that the courses include the main aspects of everyday life. It’s a real springboard to start speaking and thinking in French,” adds Yuliia, 37.

Finally, Svitlan says, “I want to thank all the teachers for their work. It gave me the opportunity to learn French. It is important for me to start speaking French and to feel more confident in France, so that I can find a job in my specialty and better integrate myself and my family here in France.

*The participating professors : Sophie Vanwynsberghe, Marie Ragons, Isabel Celada, Laetitia Scamps, Anne Chounavelle, Coralie Auguste, Carmen Campillo, Elsa Lavoine, Ludmila Cherenk.