Two Ukrainians, Uliana Pomozybida and Maryna Chorna, fled from the war to Finland less than a year ago. They have quickly adapted to their new lives in Nurmes. Currently, the two women are studying Finnish, making friends with the locals and working at Break Sokos Hotel Bomba as hotel cleaners.

According to Maryna and Uliana, many volunteers welcomed them once they arrived to Nurmes. Among the volunteers was Kai, a friend of Ulla Kärki, the hotel manager at Bomba. Kai told Maryna and Uliana about the vacancies at the hotel.

Break Sokos Hotel Bomba has a very diverse work community that does not fear language barriers and sees cultural differences as a strength. When there is no common language, communication happens using gestures, some simple sign language and Google Translate. Some things and items have been marked with small signs and there is always a colleague who knows at least a word or two of some common language. Because of the language barrier, laughter can sometimes be difficult to avoid!

‘I think our employees with foreign backgrounds have added so much to our work community. In addition to skill, they have brought various cultures and ways to understand other cultures. We can take our visitors’ needs into account even better now that our own group also has people from different backgrounds,’ explains Ulla Kärki.

Uliana has found the work community to be very welcoming: ‘The team here is great. We got along with everyone from the start. We immediately became close. Everyone has helped us a lot. It has not mattered that we do not know the language.’

The work duties of a hotel cleaner have also been pleasant. Besides cleaning the rooms, the job involves various other tasks, including preparing the hotel breakfast and various events, working at the restaurant and shelving products at a S-market store.

‘Once I worked at a party event, wearing this huge squirrel costume and dancing with the children,’ Maryna laughs.

Maryna and Uliana are grateful for the support they have received. They are excited to be part of this community and take part in its growth.

‘I am very happy to be able to work here, and I would like to continue to work here in the future,’ says Uliana. ‘We received support during a difficult time and everyone has helped us a lot. In the future, I want to learn Finnish as well as possible so that we can understand each other even better without using Google Translate on the phone,’ Maryna summarises.

Ulla Kärki encourages people not to hesitate to involve people from foreign backgrounds as part of their teams. We have found help for the chronic lack of workers and some very professional and competent employees through these recruitments.’