Dima is a 23-year-old graduate from Ukraine. He’s passionate about politics and wants to use his career to witness to others about Jesus.
But starting out in politics is not easy: corruption is common and he doesn’t always know what to say or how to act. There is only one other believer in the Ukrainian parliament, so Dima has very little support.
He’s not the only recent graduate in this situation. His story is repeated by thousands of others starting out in the world of work. They are gifted, fresh and keen to work for God’s glory, but they lack the support they need to navigate the challenges of the workplace.
That’s why IFES Graduate Impact exists.
Staying salty in the workplace
Graduate Impact supports young Christian adults across Europe and Eurasia as they transition from university to work. Its purpose is to help them mature into more effective ambassadors for Christ in their workplaces, professions and societies.
It operates through a network of mentoring groups, called Cross-Current. Some groups focus on particular professions (law, economics, politics, business and management, sciences), whilst others cover specific locations (Belfast, Helsinki, Novosibirsk, Kiev, Tirana, Bucharest, Chisinau, Cluj and Flanders). Graduates join a group for three years and are taught to apply biblical wisdom to the issues they face in their working lives. They also get the opportunity to meet older believers in their profession.
Grappling with big questions
Dima first heard about Graduate Impact through his one believing colleague in parliament. That friend had previously attended a Cross-Current politics group and encouraged Dima to go along. Dima later shared:
“This was my first time abroad and I met great people who inspired me to continue my journey. I met like-minded people from different parts of the world and we spent a blessed time together. Cross-Current Politics is a great support to me in my calling!”
Graduate Impact also helped two young lawyers from Eastern Europe. They work in a place where every transaction is expected to be accompanied by a ‘facilitation fee’. Through the Cross-Current law group they’ve been encouraged to find new ways of practising law without bribes.
Other graduates struggle to know how to be distinctive in a secular workplace. What should I say when my colleagues criticise my boss? How can I work hard without my job becoming an idol? How is my faith relevant to my working life?
Over the last ten years, Graduate Impact has helped over 300 young people like Dima to grapple with these big questions and make an impact as Christians in the workplace.
- Graduates in Europe and Eurasia can find out more and join a group at: www.graduateimpact.org
- In another region? Think about starting a group with fellow graduates in the workplace to support one another. Talk to your national movement or email email@example.com for advice and support.
- Give to support this ministry