On February 3, a shelter was opened in one of Khmelnytskyi’s educational institutions, which was completely reconstructed in accordance with the requirements of the State Emergency Service and equipped with a basic set of all necessary things for safe and comfortable stay of adults and children.
This became possible thanks to the Safe School program implemented by the International Charitable Organization “East Europe Foundation” in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, State Emergency Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the financial support of a number of partners, including Eurasia Foundation and Terre des Hommes, as well as EPAM Ukraine, Baker Tilly International and METRO Ukraine.
“In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Emergency Service and partners, we have already equipped shelters in 28 educational institutions in six cities of Ukraine: Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy. The program has covered more than 23,000 students and more than 1,730 educators who can safely and comfortably stay in a shelter during an air raid,” said Victor Liakh, President of the East Europe Foundation.
The shelter in Khmelnytskyi is a model shelter under the program. The reconstruction included the installation of protected power supply networks, lighting (including emergency lighting), water supply and sanitation, flooring, plastering, ventilation, proper entrances and exits, etc. Thus, it can serve as an example for other educators in the city and region.
In addition to the East Europe Foundation team, the presentation of the shelter was attended by Roman Prymush, Deputy Head of the State Emergency Service, Volodymyr Yuriev, Deputy Head of the Khmelnitsky Regional State Administration, Oleksandr Symchyshyn, Mayor of Khmelnitsky, and Olha Kshanovska, Acting Director of the Department of Education and Science of the Khmelnitsky City Council.
To make the students and adults feel psychologically comfortable in the shelter, its walls were decorated together with the children under the guidance of a famous Ukrainian artist, Volodymyr Kuznetsov.
In addition to setting up shelters, The Safe School Program also takes care of the mental health of adults and children. Thus, together with child psychologist Svitlana Royz, we developed a free online course “Psychological Safety of Adults and Children during Air Raids at School“, available on the Zrozumilo! Online Educational Platform. It has already been taken by more than 4,000 educators. There is also a card game “Tell Me: The Power of Questions” by Svitlana Royz, which can be printed out and used by adults and children for psychological support.
*The name of the educational institution is not mentioned in the publication for security reasons.