Education in UkraineThe war in Ukraine, initiated by Russia’s invasion in November 2022, has inflicted severe consequences on the lives and education of numerous children. UNICEF reports indicate that more than 5 million children have encountered disruptions to their education as a result of the conflict. This further compounds the challenges already presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the prior war in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, the war has led to the displacement of more than 6 million Ukrainians, including approximately 665,000 students and more than 25,000 educators. These individuals now face difficulties accessing education services in their host countries or regions. The aforementioned accounts underscore that the impact of the war on education extends beyond a humanitarian crisis; it also jeopardizes the future of an entire generation of Ukrainians, who may endure learning setbacks and diminished prospects.

The Impact of War on Education in Ukraine

The war has left children without the necessary education. During wartime, schools and other educational facilities became targets of Russian attacks. According to the official report of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, 3,246 educational institutions, including kindergartens and universities have been damaged. In Eastern Ukraine, the destruction is most significant. The most affected educational institutions are in the Zaporizhzhia region where Russians destroyed 175 institutions. Russian troops tore down 69 institutions in the Donetsk region, 52 in the Kharkiv region and 23 in the Kherson region.

Air raid sirens during the day force pupils to go to the basement and continue studying there. When classes are online there are problems with the Internet due to regular blackouts. The situation in the east of Ukraine is unstable. Russians force Ukrainian teachers to conduct classes in Russian language and narrative. As a result, parents preferably choose not to let their children go to classes.

Ongoing Efforts

As a part of a solution to help maintain an educational level in the country, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine launched an initiative that aims to support children and parents and ensure that every kid gets an opportunity to learn. UNICEF also made provisions for 1,000 schools across Ukraine and help each one get ready for the winter period.

Ukrainian volunteers together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine have launched SchoolToGo. The project is offering free online school classes to everyone from 1st to 11th grade. The lessons developed by the teachers and psychologists are fully accredited and comply with a basic school program. Also, SchoolToGo offers psychological support for children if they need it. SchoolToGo defines its mission as “so that every Ukrainian child, with the help of our platform, gets into a class with Ukrainian-speaking teachers and classmates again, and does not feel lonely.”

Looking Ahead

Despite the devastating impact of the war in Ukraine on education, ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, and volunteers aim to provide support and opportunities for children. Initiatives like “Together to Study” and SchoolToGo offer shelter goods, winter preparation and free online school classes to ensure access to education. These projects prioritize the well-being and academic development of Ukrainian children, striving to overcome the challenges posed by the conflict and promote a sense of community.

– Anna Konovalenko
Photo: Flickr

Charities in UkraineSince the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, poverty has increased with 25% of Ukrainians now living in poverty. According to a recent study by the World Health Organization and Ukraine’s Ministry of Health in 2022, 22% of people could not obtain the medication they need. About 7% of the country’s existing homes are destroyed, and millions of people are currently without electricity and water. The government of Ukraine is asking for help from international organizations and charities, as 60% of Ukraine’s budget is currently going toward defense and military expenses. Here are five charities in Ukraine.

5 Charities in Ukraine During the War

  1. AIDRom. The Inter-Church AID Department Romania has helped refugees and asylum seekers since 1991, in collaboration with the Christian Churches of Romania. The charity has offered counseling and legal help since the start of the Ukrainian refugee crisis. The charity is providing public assistance and is donating vouchers for food and hygiene, helping more than 2,000 Ukrainian people who are crossing the Romanian border. AIDRom is providing medical assistance and integration of the culture. They are implementing projects for children in order to respect their culture, such as the delivery of gifts for St. Nick’s Day which is a common tradition in Ukraine. In December 2022 they organized a Christmas performance where refugee children from Ukraine sang traditional songs of both Ukraine and Romania. This project helped 30,000 Ukrainian refugees.
  2. CARE. CARE is another charity operating in Ukraine, supporting vulnerable people, particularly women. It has partnerships in Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Ukraine. Volunteers are offering food, water, sleeping gear and protection from violence.  The latest report from December 19, 2022, highlighted that CARE has helped 605,000 people with food, 214,000 people with basic hygiene needs and water and 43,000 people with shelter. The organization also provided school kits to 7,200 kids in 2022.
  3. Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that started its work in helping people in 1970. It is working in partnership with more than 3,000 churches in Ukraine, transporting food and non-food supplies to poor people. During the first year of its work, the charity helped almost 12 million people and donated 100 million pounds of food. Samaritan’s Purse did 35 airlift missions, delivering more than 30 million liters of water, medical items and hygiene kits. They collaborated with the hospitals in Lviv, helping 23,500 patients. The organization helped 2,000 families with electricity, providing them with stoves and firewood.
  4. Doctors without Borders. Doctors without Borders (DWB) is an organization that provides medical tools and support to disadvantaged people, affected by conflicts, exclusion and natural disasters. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Doctors without Borders started to deliver primary health care tools and certified doctors. DWB’s focus is on surgery and emergencies, but the organization also delivers medicine for people with persistent illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. DWB is active in 13 Ukrainian cities, delivering 408 metric tons of medicinal equipment with the support of more than 800 volunteers.
  5. DobrobatDobrobat is a charity operating in Ukraine that focuses its work on reconstruction. The charity does not repair entirely the damaged structures or houses in Ukraine, but their volunteers specialize in rapid recovery, which is the initial reconstruction, such as repairing wrecked roofs and broken windows and walls. Its purpose is to ensure that people have a shelter that protects them from the cold winter. In December 2022 the organization completed construction work at 35 sites, with the help of 430 volunteers across Ukraine.

Final Thoughts

These are just five of the numerous charities that are operating in Ukraine during the war. They are providing psychological and medical support as well as food and water supplies to those who need it the most.

– Elena Luisetto
Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and has resulted in thousands of deaths and casualties on both sides. The attacks left 8 million people displaced in Ukraine by May 2022 and 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country as of November 2022. With more than 250 days of the invasion, Ukrainians are likely to live with a blackout until at least March 2022, the EU will give a further £2.2 billion to help with the reconstruction of the country and the Word Health Organization (WHO) warned that Ukraine’s health system is “facing its darkest days in the war so far.” All of the factors have undoubtedly increased the poverty rate in Ukraine to 25% and future estimates it could be rising to 55% or more by the end of 2023.

Increase in Poverty

The damage that the war inflicted on infrastructure and the economy has obviously increased Ukraine’s poverty. The unemployment rate has increased and is currently at 35% and over months some workers have seen their incomes reduced by as much as 50%. World Bank Eastern Europe Regional Country Director Arup Banerji stated that “As winter really starts biting, certainly by December or January, there may be another internal wave of migration, of internally displaced persons.” As a result of the displacement of more people from their houses and fewer jobs available, the poverty rate in Ukraine will worsen as Russia’s invasion continues.


The WHO and Ukraine’s Ministry of Health announced that 22% of people in the country are struggling to access essential health care and COVID-19 spreading with 23,000 new cases reported since October 2022. With a low vaccination rate minus booster, millions of Ukrainians are not immune to it which has therefore led to an increase in cases. UNICEF delivered 2.3 million doses of the vaccine through the U.S. government for distribution in 23 regions of Ukraine. Recently, the Biden administration wrote a letter to Congress requesting $38 billion to help Ukraine with efforts, with $9 billion going towards COVID-19 vaccine access and long-term research.

Infrastructure Damage

Within recent weeks, Russian missiles and drones have struck 40% of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure that have created blackouts across the country. Eighty percent of Kyiv residents have been deprived of water and 350,000 homes have lost all power. The World Bank believes that Ukraine needs $349 billion to reconstruct the country. The process of cleaning and clearing explosive remains of war will need $11 billion in the next two years and $62 billion in the next 10 years. Other costs such as the rebuilding of roads, schools and hospitals will need more funding and could take away from the government supporting residents then lead others into poverty, increasing the rate after the ending of the invasion.


Ukraine has received military assistance from other countries, the U.S. is the largest provider having committed $19.3 billion since the start of the Biden Administration. The Disaster Emergency Committee has helped 248,000 people in six months with food aid and opened 200 centers for displaced people. Similarly, the British Red Cross launched its appeal and described how it would use people’s donations. For example, £20 “could provide five blankets to families taking shelter.” Since its launch, the organization has helped 5 million people with emergency relief and 8 million with access to clean water.

Looking Ahead

The poverty rate in Ukraine has worsened significantly as it faces the impact of war. The country will need a complete rebuild that could cost more than $500 billion and leaves people in life-altering situations without homes and jobs. Russia’s invasion does not have an end date, it will continue to damage the economy and more importantly ruin the lives of Ukrainians.

– Mohamed Hassan
Photo: Flickr

Education in UkraineUkraine, despite being independent of the former Soviet Union for 25 years, continues to experience trials as a sovereign state. Although the Ukrainian economy has performed phenomenally over the past decade, recent data from the World Bank shows a GDP growth rate of around -10 percent, with inflation soaring at 50 percent. With poverty rates expected to increase, it is crucial that education in Ukraine improves so that students grow into productive employees ready to transform the economy.

According to the United Nation Development Programme’s 2013 Education Index, Ukraine is ranked #83 out of 187 countries, falling behind its neighbors Romania, Russia and Belarus.

Although the system of education in Ukraine requires all children to attend school for twelve years, a UNICEF study points out that enrollment in primary education is 83% — lower than most rates in other Central and Eastern European countries.

Low school enrollment rates in Ukraine can be predominantly attributed to rural poverty. Families prefer to send their children to work on their farms instead of going to school, and many do not have the resources to get their children to school in the first place.

To boost enrollment in rural areas, the Ukrainian government introduced a school bus initiative to ensure children have a reliable way of getting to school.

While plans were made to expand educational opportunities for all children in Ukraine, many students doubt the quality of their high school degrees.

In a survey run by UNICEF and the IRC, one recent graduate said, “A diploma is one thing and education is another… Learning things that can be used in life is different from what they teach you at school. Even if I finish school and try to find a job I will not know what a CV is, but it is required…  These are simple life skills; they have nothing in common with a good education.” Many other interviewed students expressed similar sentiments.

It is clear that Ukrainian students feel unprepared to enter the workforce. Even more troubling, however, are Ukraine’s technical schools. Students who attend vocational schools do so to learn a specific trade. A large number of technical schools in Ukraine, however, were created under Soviet rule and the curriculums have not been updated to suit modern times.

This is a major issue, especially since the enrollment rates in vocational institutions are so high. Consequently, more and more young Ukrainians are going to technical schools, thinking they are well-prepared for a career in their desired trade, only to find out their technical skills are archaic and undesirable.

As Ukraine struggles with its weakening financial situation, its graduates are also lacking the skills necessary to restart the economy. Meanwhile, estimates suggest that poverty in Ukraine is on the rise. Thus now, more than ever, it is imperative to reform education in Ukraine. By transforming Ukraine’s current educational system, the country can spur productivity, growth and increase the quality of life.

Kristina Evans
Photo: Flickr