Theirworld working with Ukraine Government
The Sector > Provider > General News > Transformation for Ukraine’s early childhood system helps combat troubles of war

Transformation for Ukraine’s early childhood system helps combat troubles of war

by Freya Lucas

September 22, 2023

Theirworld will partner with Ukraine’s government to transform the lives of the youngest children in the war-torn country, transforming education and development for children aged three to five years.


The partnership was announced earlier this week at a Theirworld event to launch the Act For Early Years campaign at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The campaign calls for world leaders to invest in early years childcare and pre-primary education.


“Ukraine is committed to be an Act for the Early Years champion – even during a crisis. We are committed to reforming our system and increasing the coverage for three to five-year-old children across the country,”  Yevhen Kudrivets, First Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Ukraine said. 


“We are proud of our friendship and partnership to unleash the potential of the next generation of Ukrainian children.” 


The announcement came after Theirworld Chair Sarah Brown met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv earlier this month. She and Theirworld President Justin van Fleet travelled to Ukraine to attend the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen.


President Zelenskyy requested that Theirworld work with Ukraine’s government to focus on comprehensive support for early childhood education, as well as accelerated learning programmes for science and mathematics.


Life for young children in the Ukraine, since the Russian invasion began, has been challenging. 


More than 100 early childhood schools have been destroyed and more than 1,000 damaged. Many services are being used as shelters for internally displaced people.


As part of the new initiative, Theirworld will provide technical support and staffing to develop and implement the national early childhood education and development initiative.


“We are hyper-focused on making sure every child has the strongest supports and developmental opportunities – regardless of their country or background,” Theirworld President Justin van Fleet said.


Theirworld and Ukraine’s government have a track record of working together to deliver education opportunities.


Over the past year, Theirworld’s Global Business Coalition for Education worked with HP, Microsoft, the Olena Zelenska Foundation and about a dozen organizations to deliver 70,000 laptops – more than 38,000 inside Ukraine and the remaining to refugees in host countries, including Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Germany and the UK.


The initiative reached more than 1.5 million learners in the first year, marking one of the single largest education investments in the first year of the war.


Theirworld has also supported Stay With Ukraine, a programme to help young refugees keep in touch with Ukrainian language, learning and culture while living in other countries. That project is delivered by Ukrainian NGO Smart Osvita and supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


Learn more about the work of Theirworld here. Lead image shows President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hugging Theirworld Chair Sarah Brown

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