Safe School Program

East Europe Foundation initiated this program intending to support the educational system of Ukraine by equipping basic shelters in schools to secure comfortable and decent conditions for the continuous stay of children, in-school staff, and other community members.

This goal will be achieved through the following specific tasks:

  1. Task “Safety”: Ensure the physical safety of children, teachers, and members of the community at selected education establishments by equipping and renovating the shelters in line with the SES requirements;
  2. Task “Psychological support”: Provide psychological support to children in the shelters by equipping teachers with tailored psychological and methodological tools

Task “Safety”

Under Task “Safety,” EEF, working closely with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MES) and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU), selected 26 schools in regions of Ukraine where the security situation allows to start offline education, but there is still a sufficiently high possibility of the bombing (Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy). During the selection process, we will consider the following criteria: capacity of the shelter, number of children in the need of the shelter, and the possibility of replicating the experience in other buildings/regions in Ukraine.

Of those 26 schools:

  • 23 schools will receive a basic package of equipment for shelters (as described below) – approx. 10,000 Euro each
  • 3 schools will have their shelters renovated and equipped with a basic package of equipment to serve as model shelters

The basic package will include:

  • Furniture for sitting (foldable benches, pillows);
  • Water coolers, water filters, or other equipment to secure access to potable water and water for sanitary purposed (water tanks with 1,000 l capacity);
  • Beamer (projector), or TV (optional);
  • Daylight lamps and rechargeable backup lighting;
  • Electric extension cords;
  • Wireless routers and other supplement equipment that connects routers to the network (could be cables)
  • Power generator;
  • Electric heaters; individual chemical heaters
  • Bio-toilets and cabins;
  • Electric fans;
  • VHF UHF GPS APRS Radio Station
  • First aid kits, respirators
  • Materials for activities and games with children (games, flipcharts, books, etc.)
  • Firefighting tools: Fire extinguishers, shovels, axes, saws, etc.

Four model shelters, one in each oblast, will be renovated in accordance with the requirements of the SESU and will be equipped with the basic package. These model shelters will serve in the future as a model for other educational establishments and local governments.

The renovation will include installing the protected electricity networks, lighting (including backup lighting), water supply and sanitation, flooring, plastering, ventilation installation, arrangement of proper entrance and exits, etc. EEF, in coordination with the regional representatives of the SESU, will conduct the engineering supervision of the construction process.

To promote the experience of the project, EEF will organize visits by representatives of local governments from surrounding territories to explore the details of the model shelters. In line with the visits, EEF will develop recommendations in the form of printed brochures and video-guide on equipping and renovation of the shelters in education establishments; with the support of the MES, these recommendations will be distributed to each school in Ukraine.

Task “Psychological support”

Under task “Psychological support,” EEF will develop a course on how to work with kids in the shelter, namely Psychological Safety of Adults and Children During Air Raids at School and place the course on EEF’s e-learning platform Zrozumilo!, where it will be freely accessible for all teachers in Ukraine. Teachers in the pilot schools will also benefit from another course on Zrozumilo! The course, namely, How to support a child in the time of war, was developed by EEF and a prominent Ukrainian psychologist Dr. Svitlana Roiz.

All activities will be accompanied by communication activities, including offline and online promo visits to the model shelters for representatives of local governments from other regions and locations; SMM campaigns; etc.

To discuss achieved results and inform the broader community about the program outcomes, EEF will organize a final event with representatives of the SESU and the MES and the involvement of representatives from other oblasts/locations at the end of the program.

The pilot project will last from 1 August 2022 – 31 January 2023. The program will then be continued and/or extended on an as-needed basis and subject to the availability of additional funding and the security situation.

East Europe Foundation thanks its partners Eurasia Foundation, Sy Syms Foundation and Terre des Hommes, as well as EPAM Ukraine and Baker Tilly International for supporting The Safe School Program.

Photo: M&M Photography

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