International Foundation for Social Adaptation

The Foundation's mission – the development of civil society organizations and local communities as a basis for social adaptation of the population of Ukraine to the transition to civil society with a market system of relations. Effective organization and implementation of social projects in Ukraine.  >>>Read more


«Ukraine – Norway» Project

«Retraining and social adaptation of military personnel and their family members in Ukraine»


About the project

The core of the project is to retrain a target group in civil specialties that are in demand in the labor market in Ukraine, to provide project participants with the legal and social adaptation to the conditions of civil society. The executors of the main part of the project are educational institutions of Ukraine and the Norwegian NORD University which organizes and carries out professional retraining of the project participants in the selected specialties in the amount of 500 academic hours. Upon successful mastering of the curriculum course graduates receive three documents: a certificate of professional retraining of the state sample (from the institution of Ukraine), a joint certificate of the NORD University and Ukrainian educational institution and a joint diploma of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Norway. In the course of professional retraining the participants of the project receive assistance in legal adapting, psychological rehabilitation, employment as well as advice on starting their own business. This problem is solved by non-governmental organizations, foundations, government agencies, local government and small businesses under the overall coordination of the International Foundation for Social Adaptation. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway with the participation of Ukrainian partners of the project. The volume of additional services provided to the project participants by the Ukrainian partners is at least 20% of the total funding from the Norwegian side. The major criterion for the quality of the project is improved living conditions of its participants. Evaluation of the results of the project is carried out after the completion of the retraining courses, in three-months and a year’s time. The history of the project began in 2003. The first 45 officers of the Navy Forces of Ukraine have been retrained on the basis of the Sevastopol National Technical University and received services for social adaptation. In the period of 2003 - 2014 more than six thousand people underwent the retraining including about two thousand members of military families.


The long-term goal of the project is to reduce the impact of the negative social effects of economic reforms and the reforms of the defence sector of Ukraine on the retired military personnel and their family members and to promote cooperation between the two countries.


Tasks of the project:

• to retrain military personnel and their family members in civil specialties that are in demand in the emplyment market in Ukraine in order to increase their professional competitiveness;

• to provide project participants with psychological rehabilitation in order to increase their motivation to active social adaptation in the civil society with a market system of relations;

• to provide project participants with legal adaptation in order to improve their social protection in the conditions of life in a civil society;

• to provide project participants with employment assistance in order to improve the living conditions of military families;

• to provide project participants with assistance in the creation of their own (family) business in conditions of high unemployment in Ukraine, to implement organizational skills of the military officers and their family members as well as to form a class of law-abiding taxpayers;

• to promote cooperation between educational institutions of Ukraine and Norway, start new joint projects in the field of education and research;

• to develop business cooperation between enterprises of Ukraine and Norway on the basis of the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.


The content of the project and the procedure for its implementation

The project is implemented under the Agreement UKR-14/0033 concluded between the NORD University (the Kingdom of Norway) and the International Charitable Foundation “International Foundation for Social Adaptation (Ukraine). Under the terms of the Agreement the entire period of the project is divided into two semesters (spring and fall) with a duration of up to four months. Project participants undergo professional retraining during 500 academic hours with 30 hours allocated for the subject of “Business Administration” which is carried out by the professors of the NORD University. The educational process is carried out by both Ukrainian and Norwegian faculties which ensures a high level of training and issuance of the Ukrainian and Norwegian final documents. All additional activities such as psychological rehabilitation, legal adaptation, employment assistance and the creation of their own business are organized by project partners during the semesters. To meet these challenges the organizers involved public organizations, experts from the employment services, tax administration, enterprises and entrepreneurs in the areas of the project implementation.

Professional retraining of the project participants is conducted on the basis of the Agreements concluded between the IFSA and Ukrainian educational institutions for each academic semester. All additional activities are carried out on the basis of grant agreements concluded with the public and other non-profit organizations and contracts for services concluded with the organizations, enterprises and entrepreneurs of Ukraine. The areas of project implementation are determined by the Norwegian and Ukrainian organizers each semester depending on the actual need for this kind of activity, availability of universities and organizations of Ukraine capable of complying with the terms of the project at a high level and the amount of funding. In the course of the project there is also carried out its monitoring which involves Ukrainian and foreign consulting companies specializing in the evaluation of social projects. For the annual evaluation of the quality of assignments there has been created a control group composed of the representatives of various organizations: the IFSA, NORD University, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Norway and Ukraine, other enterprises and institutions. The control group annually sums up the project and approves the plan for its further development. Once every three years there is an assessment of the project carried out by an independent international organization. Recruitment of the retraining groups is performed by the selected non-profit organizations and representatives of the IFSA in the regions on the basis of contracts concluded with the IFSA.

Requirements for the recruitment of retraining groups:

1. The number of students accepted for retraining in each group must be at least 26 people. At least 25 people must complete retraining courses in a group.

2. Military officers and their family members can become project participants. The number of women and members of military families in each semester must be at least 30% of the total number of the project participants.

3. All participants in the professional retraining should have a university degree (at least “Bachelor”).

4. The age of the participants of the project, as a rule, should not exceed 50.

5. All candidates for the participation in the project are subject to a personal interview and placement testing. The test results determine the final version of the curriculum. If necessary, to equalize the level of knowledge of the group and to form equal studying conditions for all the project participants there can be organized additional classes and counseling for individual students.


Funding and reporting of the project executors

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. The immediate project partner from the Norwegian side is the NORD University. Source document organizing the procedure for financing the project is an Agreement concluded between the NORD University and the ICF “International Foundation for Social Adaptation”. ICF IFSA concludes relevant agreements with Ukrainian executives for each semester. Within ten days after completion of the semester all the executives file financial reports on the proper use of funds to the IFSA in form and content as defined in the annexes to each agreement. The funds allocated for the project can not be used to fund political campaigns, political advocacy, support of election campaigns and political parties, organizations influencing the outcome of elections and other activities considered to be political. In case of revealing the fact of misuse of funds the executive must be excluded from the participants without the right to return to the project. All the local project partners should make an effort to co-finance the project. The participation of the interested organizations can be in the form of increasing the number of the project participants (not less than 20% of the total amount of the project participants whose retraining has been financed according to the agreement with IFSA) or expanding the number of services it provides. Particular attention of the local organizers is paid to the promotion of employment and launching business by the project participants.


Selection of directions and specialties for the professional retraining

Directions and specialties for the professional retraining are defined by the analysis of the employment market in each region where the project is executed, the initial professional level of the candidates for retraining, capacity of educational institutions to organize retraining at a high level. Professional retraining is seen as an opportunity to draft a systematic occupational exposure to the consciousness of the project participants to form their outlook for the future conscious activities in the civil society by means of obtaining the necessary minimum of knowledge of the laws and rules of human relations. Based on more than ten-year solid experience on the project implementation the most popular specialties are:

• “Information technologies in business”;

• “Business security”;

• “Service Industry Accounting and Auditing”;

• “Business Management”;

• “Management”;

• “Economics of Entrepreneurship”;

• “Security Services”;

• “Fundamentals of Law”;

• “Tourism Organization and Management”

In most cases, the course participants are often interested in the study of PC and a foreign language. It is important that the wishes of the audience with their ability to learn academic subjects, the presence of a material base in the educational institutions and the professional skills of the teaching staff. Educational institutions can offer project par ticipants to continue their education in order to obtain a higher civil education on the chosen specialty after completion of studies. Course participants have the right to make independent decisions on the continuation of studies at the their own expense. During the course of retraining, the IFSA organizes additional classes for students wishing to start their own businesses, as well as additional training for entrepreneurship and psychological adaptation.


Key features of the “UkraineNorway” project:

• It comprises the whole family (both military officer and his/her family members) as an inseparable unit (at least 30% of participants).

• Gender factor- at least 30% of the participants are women.

• Requirements of the Norwegian side on employment of the participants: 75% employed within 3 months after courses completion, and 100% should receive favorable offers of employment or launch their own business within a year after completion of the courses.

• Special focus on launching a business by the project participants (at least 20% of the graduates).

• Complexity of the project: professional retraining, psychological, social and legal adaptation, organizational and psychological preparation for effective job search / organization of their own business, monitoring results (selection) of the participants within a three-month and a one-year period of time.

• Retraining is carried out jointly with Norwegian and Ukrainian professors. The graduates receive the documents from the both Ukrainian and Norwegian universities.


The International Foundation for Social Adaptation also carries out publishing activities. From 2014 in the framework of the project there has been launched a program aimed at introducing the project participants to the basics of teleworking. The program has two directions:

1) a special course for the organization of teleworking (as a remote member of one of the company or as a freelancer, having multiple clients).

2) a course conducted to the teachers to consider options for teleworking in each of the specialties taught as part of the curriculum in the framework of the project.


1) Expanding the scale of employment without the need to relocate.

2) Ability to revenue diversification, which reduces the risk of financial difficulties when changing employer;

3) Easier psychological adaptation to the new social environment (working with a new team online).


How to join a project?

Project participant can be a member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Service of Ukraine, State Border Service of Ukraine, State Special Transport Service, State Service of Emergencies of Ukraine whose length of service is not less than 10 years and retired 7 years preceding the year of participation in the project. Military officers subject to dismissal in the current year can also join the project. Participation in the project is open to adult family members of the above-mentioned categories of servicemen. To join the project participants should contact the representative of the project in the region (contact details here).

Required documents:

1. 1 photo 3*4;

2. Copy of the Ukrainian passport (1, 2 pages and the registration record);

3. Reference on the intended dismissal issued by the military unit;

4. For the dismissed military officers: a copy of a document confirming the status of servicemen (military ID, certificate of the veteran, extract from the order of dismissal, certificate from the military commissariat);

5. For a military family member: a copy of a document confirming belonging to a military family;

6. Application addressed to the organization or “Ukraine-Norway” project representative requesting to be admitted as a candidate for participation in the project.

Organizations, wishing to strengthen the project can participate in activities in areas of its performance by working with its members: schools, community organizations, businesses, etc.