After-school Learning Centers – “Zmistovno”, Project Details

As with other parts of the world, education during the Covid-19 pandemic left many children behind. Ukrainian teachers adapted as well as they could to online teaching, but remote learning has presented many learning challenges and children have also suffered socially, being unable to engage in direct communication. 

While this is not unique to Ukraine, a full-scale invasion has dramatically increased the consequences of starting from behind.  There have been frequent power outages, unstable internet connections, an absence of laptops, computers, cell phones or charging stations and terrifying air alarms throughout the day.

Currently, only 15% of schools in Ukraine can operate as usual.  Others rely on distance learning (33%) or a hybrid format (51%).  Of those, around 30% do not have consistent access to online lessons (according to the State Service for Quality of Education of Ukraine). Under such circumstances, the general academic performance as well as grade level communication skills, decline rapidly.

Given this double whammy for Ukrainian children, the Nova Ukraine team has long been working on the idea of opening and supporting existing after-school education centers. These centers are by no means a substitute for the core state student education, but they can expand their knowledge and skills across  various subjects.

Following the successful “Fortresses of Resilience” project, Nova Ukraine is therefore pleased to announce the continuation of our partnership with The Howard Buffett Foundation. The “Nova Ukraine” Foundation has opened 30 extracurricular learning centers in Ukraine, which provide children with opportunities to engage in various educational programs, leisure activities, and peer socialization. We also support existing organizations who provide extracurricular education.

The learning centers will be free, and open to visitors for six months, up to late October 2023. Each center will be fully equipped with child-friendly furniture, developmental toys and  games, stationery supplies, as well as equipment to facilitate online learning such as computers, monitors, or TVs. 

The centers are staffed with dedicated administrators and instructors, who conduct regular classes, educational and entertainment events, workshops, and games. 

Classes and activities are held both in an offline format, where teachers & instructors can interact directly with the children, and in an online format, where the educational material is presented remotely in the most challenging regions of the country. This allows children to learn and engage interactively with leading experts in the field, regardless of where they are.

To quote Nova Ukraine’s Project Coordinator, Vlad Dergunov,  “this project represents a significant milestone in our mission;  to provide educational opportunities and support existing centers offering services to children during hard times. We are grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for their support, which will enable us to establish these after-school learning centers and make a lasting impact on the lives of young learners.

About the Howard G. Buffett Foundation

First established in 1999, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation is a U.S. private family foundation working to improve food security, mitigate conflict, enhance public safety, and combat human trafficking. The Foundation’s work in Ukraine, which began is 2022, is focused on addressing the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.  The work includes facilitating emergency food aid to liberated areas, supporting demining efforts, and addressing energy grid concerns.

Support Our Efforts

To learn more, or to see how you or your organization can get involved, please contact us at [email protected].

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