Since the start of the Russian invasion, millions of Ukrainians have been forced into exile to escape the horrors of war. Over the months, several thousand of them have found refuge in the Greater Montreal area, whether to wait out the conflict or to rebuild their lives in a country at peace.

Living in such a situation creates a multitude of challenges: access to housing, childcare and integration into the school network, francization and, in particular, obtaining a job. This is where the mobilization of local actors comes into play.

On March 30, the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians, the Center social d’aide aux immigrants and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal organized the Job Fair for Ukrainian nationals, with the financial support of the Government of Quebec.

This mobilization enabled 40 Montreal organizations and businesses to meet 400 people looking for a promising professional future. The latter, sometimes accompanied by their young children and always adorned with remarkable courage, were able to overcome the discomfort of language barriers to meet the companies present.

The vitality of the exchanges, the authenticity of the smiles and the radiance of the eyes reminded us that nothing equals human contact to reveal the potential of people determined to bring out the best in themselves.

We could multiply the examples of connections and encounters full of promise that took place that day. These demonstrate how the diversity of expertise and the robustness of the skills brought together in the city center for the occasion were exceptional.

At a time when several professional pairings are still to come, we can affirm that the success of this show is based on exemplary collaboration between the community sector, the business community and the government. Thanks to their complementary expertise, our teams have taken concrete action to serve a common cause.

Through their generosity and their presence, our partners as well as the participating companies ensured the success of this event. Their absolute adherence to the project is proof of their ambition to base their activities on the principles of responsibility and social solidarity.

We can all, at our level, have an impact. Consider, for example, the many companies that have donated computer equipment to the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians to equip the families of Ukrainian Canadians.

Every organization, regardless of size, industry or mission, has the power to bring hope to those who have been struggling to rebuild their lives for months. In the words of Michael Shwec, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Montreal, it is up to us to seize every opportunity to “make a difference”!