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Employee evacuation from Ukraine

Kenyon supported a client with a large international presence in its evacuation of employees from Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022. Kenyon supported employees and their families, around 300 people, offering comprehensive services to meet their needs at this traumatic time.

Challenges

Kenyon were initially engaged by the client to provide remote mental health support to the company’s employees ahead of the invasion. In close coordination with the client, Kenyon set up multiple incident centres in Poland, close to the western border of Ukraine. The centres opened shortly after the invasion to facilitate the evacuation of the employees and their families to a temporary place of safety ahead of relocation to more permanent accommodation.

The primary goal has been to provide a place of safety where the evacuees can be supported with welfare needs, while assessing additional needs and providing services as required, with a focus on mental health.

Solutions

The employees and their families, many of whom have experienced trauma, have benefited from mental health and welfare support. Evacuees have challenges not just in coping with the fallout from their displacement, but also their anxiety about friends and relatives still in Ukraine, and the uncertainty about their Country. This support has been managed by Kenyon’s Humanitarian Services Division. The support for these individuals will continue as they transition to their ‘new lives’.

Children’s needs are at the forefront of evacuees’ minds and Kenyon provided activities for them to create a more normal environment and minimise stress. This included art and crafts, table tennis, football, pottery, music and ‘walk and talks’ to enable them to voice their fears in a safe and inclusive way. At the same time, this enabled parents to manage practicalities surrounding the evacuation, including contacting friends and relatives and assessing the impact of the war on their homes. Parent activities have also been arranged to provide some distraction from the invasion and its impacts.

Results

Conor Prendergast, Managing Director of Kenyon International, commented: 
“This has been an unimaginably difficult time for the people of Ukraine as they face the most challenging and unexpected circumstances. Our priority is our client’s employees’ welfare, and we are committed to providing the most comprehensive service possible to meet their physical and mental needs.”