Ruhama offered support to Bernadina*, by way of a full care plan and education and development assistance to help her secure full-time, stable employment in Ireland. This is her story, as told by her Ruhama support team.
Bernadina moved from South America to Ireland armed with a solid education, multiple languages and a strong work history. However within months of arriving, she began to struggle financially. Bernadina was in insecure part-time work and trying without success to find affordable housing in the middle of a rental crisis. She entered prostitution as a means of financial survival.
On contacting Ruhama, Bernadina’s self-esteem was at an all-time low. She felt her skills and experience had been rendered useless and decided to seek support from Ruhama to upskill, find secure employment and to eventually leave prostitution.
Bernadina began with a full care plan from our casework team, tailored to her specific needs and goals. Accessing counselling was a priority for her. She attended group classes, our ‘Shaping Your Future’ course and took advantage of our individual study support. She valued the support of other women in the same situation as her.
“Bernadina was in insecure part-time work and trying without success to find affordable housing in the middle of a rental crisis. She entered prostitution as a means of financial survival.”
Bernadina progressed bit by bit. She attended a ‘Dress for Success’ session to help give her a sartorial edge in interviews. She also received professional photos of herself dressed in work attire for LinkedIn. These were important to her: they acted as a source of inspiration for a professional future and made her “feel good about herself and her body”, offering a sense of ownership and control.
She visited Ruhama weekly to “work practically towards the future”. Supported by the team through the process, she focused on her CV, applications and getting job interviews with employers.
The work paid off. Bernadina secured a full-time job in customer service with a reputable company and utilises her multilingual skills every day. We wish Bernadina the very best of luck for her future.
*Name and some details have been changed to protect confidentiality of woman